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We're seeing less butterflies in our garden too, whereas we used to have loads. Yesterday I saw a holly blue, a second generation one. One of the things they feed on, apparently, is honeydew, the stuff that comes out of aphids's bottoms. It's great that nothing gets wasted in nature, isn't it!
I saw more butterflies in the Botanic garden today but only cabbage whites, none of the lovely painted ladies we usually have hordes of. There were more butterflies than usual in my garden in the early, warm, sunny spring but a dearth of anything but whites, hedge browns and tiger moths at present. It is very important as you say, Kate, to realise we too are part of the natural world and will suffer by having less food if the pollinators are not around.
I saw a Red Admiral in my little London garden today! Happy. Will look forward to the identification guide.
I saw a hummingbird hawk moth on a patch of white verbena at Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire, last Thursday, 7th July. I first saw one about three years ago in Rothbury, Northumberland and wonder if they are now found even further north?
I'm happy to say that in my garden, outside Oslo in Norway, I seem to have many more butterflies this year than previous ones! And that's NOT thanks to my gardening skills ... :-)


I have been involved in outdoor activities/work, for morethan 30 years and as a result can honestly say butterfly numbers are much lower now! The many Buddlea that I grow in various areas, usually attract the odd butterfly now, compared to the previous droves attracted. I, among many, miss their happy summer dance xx
Andrew, I have noticed this too with my buddleias. In the nineties I could give my white buddleia bush a shake and amaze the children going past my garden to school with the hordes of butterflies that would fly up. Now there is just the odd one or two. The garden with the most butterflies and bees I have seen in recent years was Cothay Manor Garden last August. The borders were awash with them - the icing on the cake in such a beautiful garden. I noticed there was a lot of lythrum planted so I bought a plant from there and hope it will do the same for my garden this August. It does have lovely spikes of flowers about to open their buds.
My husband took a photograph of an eyed hawkmoth about a month ago. Is this of interest?
I'm pleased to notice that the roundabout near my house has been planted with lots of wild flowers, which is a good attraction for butterflies and bees. As well as being beautiful to look at, in these days of the credit crunch surely it would be more cost effective if more councils were encouraged to do this.
I've actually spotted quite a few butterflies in my garden this year, including lots of red admirals that seem to love a cactus dahlia I'm growing!
I'm lucky enough to be living in a much more rural location than last summer and so each month brings it's delights as I see July here for the first time. Marbled whites and ringlets have been recent highlights and I also got very hands-on with cinnabar caterpillars when I moved about five hundred off a patch of groundsel that was about to be cleared. I really enjoyed relocating these to the ragwort as I walked the dog and they've really munched the flowers..
What are the best wild flowers to grow in my grassy wild patch? I had a speckled butterfly hatch out and would like to encourage more. I have large white butterflies that visit my garden, I also have a lot of small white ones which I think are cabbage butterflies. I don't grow cabbages!
Garlic mustard, ladies smock, violets and honesty will all grow in your grass and attract the orange tip and green-veined white to lay their eggs, and remember a clump of nettles in a sunny spot is invaluable. Small tortoiseshell, peacock, painted lady,red admiral and comma will all lay on nettles.
I cannot believe that you have a cuprinol advert on the same page as the loss of butterflies...chemical preservatives kill insects, all part of the chain.
I'm afraid I have seen none at all in Ireland this year and I have planted a buddeia especially but nothing. I really hope that as with alot of things in the garden this 2011, the butterflies are just a little late!


Although we have a good range of butterfly friendly plants in our garden we have noticied a decline in numbers. If all gardens had several nectar rich plants that flower thoughout the butterfly breeding season, not just the summer but through to Autumn too we could make a difference. Another gardening tip - If you Buddleias growing in the wrong place please leave them until after they've flowered before cutting back after all your garden is a living space for all living creatures to enjoy, it's not just for the pleasure of us humans.
I live in SE London and have noticed more butterflies in the garden this year. I have been more conscious of planting plants that are attractive to butterflies and bees, so it could possibly be because of this. Or maybe it's down to me just being more observant and noticing them more.
Thanks happymarion I do have a clumb of nettles, I was going to cut it down, it will stay now its is a small patch!
Early this morning when I took my dog out there was a very pretty delicate pale green butterfly sitting on my gate and it was there several hours later. I could not see it on the GW chart and tried to Google it but have not been able to identify it. It did not seem to have any markings at all. Can anyone tell me what it might be? It was so lovely that I kept going out in the rain to look at it.
This sounds like a Scarce Silver Lines which is not really scarce. Its colour fades if exposed to light which would happen on your gate, Josephine. They are usually found in oak woods. The colour of the Large Emerald fades after death also and its habitat is birch woods. So was yours dead or dying , large or small?