As I was listening to Sir David Attenborough promoting the Big Butterfly Count on the radio this morning, I looked out at our very green garden. Not many flowers to attract the butterflies out there yet. There’s a single buddleia, some lavender, and the plants I’ve brought in pots. And that seemed to be about it as far as the nectar offerings went.
But look a little closer and there’s a whole larderful of sweet, flowery nectar. It’s just that most of it is in the lawn rather than the borders. There are a whole range of weeds/wildflowers (depending on your point of view) thriving among the grass and moss. Lots of clover – a great nectar plant for bees.
Only a few dandelion flowers at the moment, but there are plenty of leaves showing that the plant is established in the lawn, along with yarrow and bugle. And nestling in low among the blades of grass and buttercup leaves, there’s a healthy population of selfheal. Another nectar rich favourite with the insects.
The bright yellow buttercups are doing a good job of attracting hoverflies. And this handsome looking beastie. I’ve no idea what it is, but it was having a good feed while I took its photo.
The hoverflies are also liking the hawkbit. It only seems to flower at the edge of the lawn – presumably in a patch where the flowering stems have missed being mowed down.
The daisies have shorter flower stems and are dotted about all over the place.
And the tiny, star-shaped flowers of mouse-ear chickweed add a scattering of white in a sea of green.
So there we are, not such a nectar desert after all. There may be enough out there to attract at least some butterflies for us to count… we just need some warm, calm weather now. What about you, will you be joining the Big Butterfly Count?