Butterflies are the most beautiful creatures. Delicate, stunning and fleeting, these helpful pollinators really are a treat for sore eyes.

Like the humble bee, butterfly numbers in the UK are decreasing thanks to intensive agricultural practices and changes to native habitats. According to Butterfly Conservation, 76% of butterflies resident in the UK saw their numbers decline in 2015.

If you would like to help boost butterfly numbers by attracting them to your garden, then you’re in the right place.


 

UK Species
According to the RHS, there are almost 60 different species of butterfly that live in Britain as well as another 30 that come for the occasional visit from Europe. The most common British varieties are Red Admirals, Cabbage Whites, and the Small Tortoiseshell – all immediately recognisable thanks to their frequent visits during the British summer.

Butterflies are a hugely important part of the food chain and work hard to help pollination in our gardens. As well as all this, they also just look amazing don’t they?

There are lots of ways to encourage butterflies into your garden, we’ve got a few tips for you’re here.


Planting choices
Butterflies go crazy for buddleias, verbena, ivy flowers, lavender, michaelmas daisies, and red valerian amongst many others. If you are planting to encourage butterflies, variety of colour and nectar-heavy species are the key. When planting, make sure you choose an open, bright and sunny area of your garden as butterflies like the warmth.

Butterfly Conservation suggest up to eighteen different varieties could make their way in search of nectar to gardens up and down the land.

Make sure you try to prolong the flowering period in your garden. Plant a selection of plants that will flower at different times. Doing this means that butterflies emerging in the spring, summer, and autumn will have a fresh supply of nectar.

Keeping your garden well watered also helps to increase pollen production so installing a guilt-free water butt will help here. In addition, don’t use peat-based compost as peat farming destroys the natural habitats of many butterflies including the Large Heath Butterfly.

Small spaces
If you don’t have a garden or if your outdoor space is tiny, you can still do your bit for butterflies. Invest in some good quality planters – try our 52 litre Vendôme planter for starters – and fill it with butterfly attracting plants. If you live in an apartment, try a window box, like our Picket window box, and go crazy for a mini wild flower meadow.


Other tips
Leaving fallen fruit to rot slowly on the ground can encourage butterflies thanks to their love of sweetness. Think of butterfly babies a.k.a. caterpillars and plant something good for them too – cabbage whites just love to leave their babies to grow in a lovely pile of nasturtiums. Remember that this can also be a way to encourage destructive caterpillars away from your own hard-grown prize cabbages too – a sacrificial and tactical plan if you will.

Finally, and this may seem obvious, do avoid the use of pesticides as these are incredibly harmful to butterflies – and the main cause of their dwindling number.

Take a look outside, how can you make some easy changes to help do your bit for butterflies?