Sheltered by hedges and espalier apples and pears the garden was laid out about 20 years ago. The plants either attract butterflies with copious amounts of nectar or are the food plants for their caterpillars.
To encourage butterflies in your garden you need to provide food, water, shelter and sunny hotspots, remembering that different species are on the wing at different times of the year.
Also think about the caterpillars, and the over-wintering stages (some species overwinter as adults, others as caterpillars, chrysalises or as eggs). The Natural Surroundings butterfly garden has both a large, nectar-rich border – a feeding station for the adults – and the food plants that the caterpillars require.
Shrubs and Hedges
Garden hedges provide shelter and help to create hotspots. We have used Beech and Privet as well as flowering shrubs such as the Buddleia, roses and Forsythia. Our apples and pears, trained as espaliers, have been here for many years and the fallen ripe fruits are a favorite for many late summer butterflies.
A few butterflies, such as the skippers and Meadow Brown, lay their eggs on grasses. We have sown an area with native grasses and included the food plants the caterpillars of Common Blue (Birdsfoot Trefoil), and Small Copper (Sorrel) to create as real butterfly meadow.
Under the fruit trees we are creating ground cover for butterflies that overwinter as adults or caterpillars. We have used large leaved Pholomis and tufted grasses to provide sheltered places to hide .