The Native Butterfly Garden at Hampton Court is a meshed enclosure containing many of our native butterflies, the rarest of which is the Camberwell Beauty – a butterfly I had never seen before, except in a photograph, so I was thrilled to see dozens of them fluttering amongst the flowers in their enclosure. Things were a lot more exotic in the Eden Project Dome, where swallowtails swooped around the plants, along with many other colourful tropical butterflies, including a cluster of enormous flutterers feasting on fruit.
Tag Archives: wildlife garden
In yesterday’s Independent Stanley Johnson (father of blonde bombshell Boris) wrote a fine feature about the danger of eco-tourism destroying this unique habitat. Instead of travelling to the furthest side of the world damaging the planet as you go, why not leave that to David Attenborough and the BBC’s wildlife photographers (and HD television) and explore the wildlife in your own back garden instead. All you need is a good hand lens and the time to examine the flora and fauna in close-up. You will be amazed what you find when you really start to look. Birds in Your Garden and Collins Complete Guide – British Insects and The Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland will help with identification and you can learn more on the subject at www.wildlifegardener.co.uk and uksafari.com.
It may be National Birdbox Week, but the birds in my garden think they can find their own nesting places thank you. One of our robins has been very busy transporting nesting material into the ivy in the courtyard garden and a blackbird has found a similar spot high up on the front wall. It reminds me that, despite its bad press, ivy is a wonderful plant for the wildlife. If you are looking for a nesting box check out our birdboxes or visit www.recyclingwood.org.uk – it’s a wonderful social project producing stylish and practical products – including birdboxes.
Thompson & Morgan’s Buddleja ‘Buzz’™ was recently named the Best New Plant Variety. It is the first Buddleja that has been specifically bred to be a dwarf variety and is ideal for growing in patio pots and containers. Despite its compact nature, Buddleja ‘Buzz’ still boasts all the qualities it’s larger cousins are famous for, such as the huge sprays of flowers known for attracting butterflies and wildlife into the garden. The compact plants grow to just one metre high and will be smothered in flowers all summer long. Plants are available in three colours ivory, lavender and magenta.
Like many gardens throughout the country, we found that the snow brought many unusual and welcome visitors. Thrushes are fairly rare here now, but there were several hopping about along with redwings and fieldfares who were tussling with the resident blackbirds for the birdfood we provided. It was lovely while it lasted.