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Please Save the ButterFlies

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					                          Save the Butterflies
Are you sick of rainy days? This so-called July weather? Is it dampening your
spirits and killing the social calendar? Is it threatening your species? If the
answer to the last question is yes, then you are one of the butterflies that
feature in this article, if not then you're like me - just another malcontent, fed up
with British weather.

Butterflies are one of the few purely decorative insects you can attract and their
variety of colours is astonishing, thus making them a welcome addition to any
garden, but, due to last year’s wet summer, and the continuing trend this year,
Britain has seen a severe decline in several species of butterfly. As most of us
know, water and wings don't mix, particularly where insects are concerned. A
heavy rainstorm is comparable to a blitzkrieg from a butterfly’s perspective and
all this rotten weather has meant they've been less actively pollinating and
breeding.

As such, last week’s article on pond cultivation comes closer to the fore, due to
it's role as an insect habitat. The obvious plus is the water source it provides,
however, butterflies require peace to flourish, so I'd also suggest a wild patch in
your garden that will remain undisturbed by usual garden maintenance and thus
provide them with a breeding ground. To this end, you might consider a small
nettle patch as this will discourage human contact whilst providing a suitable
habitat.

The primary means of enticing butterflies into the garden depends on your
planting, because nectar is primarily what will invite them. To ensure the most
hospitable environment, you'll want a variety of plants that will provide nectar
year round, so it is advised you have a balance of spring bloomers such as
Daisies, Dandelions, Pansies and Primroses and to compensate their loss in late
summer and autumn, a healthy dose of Marigolds, Knapweed and Lavender.
Other examples to really boost your butterfly potential are full sun perennials
such as Helenium, which will provide bold colour and a large bulbous landing pad
to your guests, Lathyrus which offers a daintier foliage and the bonus for us of
scent, and the towers of Verbascum, which will dominate the sky line of a
butterfly garden - the air traffic control on your own living airfield.

Shrubs that butterflies love include Buddleia, Hebes and Lilac and certain herbs
also attract the insect, due to their scent. These include oregano, thyme and
mint.

It is important to remember that your butterfly population will be relative to your
gardening variety i.e. the greater the number and mix and plants, the greater
the potential for their propagation.

Due to their erratic behaviour, butterfly spotting is no simple task, however, look
out in your own gardens for species like the Common Blue with their lilac veined
wings and white trim, the flambouyant Peacock with big blue ‘eyes’ on its wings,
or the small Tortoiseshell, tiger striped with segmented blue edging, to know just
how much your helping their species. Other, threatened, types to watch out for
are the toffee coloured Small Skipper, the Ginger Lulworth Skipper, Chalk Hill
Blue and the Wall Brown species.

				
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Description: Please do save the gods gift "BUTTER FLIES"