Helenium 'El Dorado' with red admiral butterfly

What garden wildlife is doing now

Find out what the wildlife in your garden is up to in September.

September can be sunny and dry or cold and damp. Either way, it’s a mixed month for wildlife, with some hanging on to the last of summer before getting ready to hibernate, and others preparing to migrate south. Some will be flying their last time before dying, having laid eggs of the next generation.

How to help wildlife in your garden


Butterflies are enjoying nectar from late blooms

Tortoiseshell butterfly on Verbena bonariensis
Tortoiseshell butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

The last of the year’s butterflies are on the wing, feasting on nectar from late-flowering plants like Verbena bonariensis and heleniums. Look out for large and small white butterflies, along with red admiral, comma, small tortoiseshell and peacock. Some hibernate as adults, while others will die as temperatures dip. Red admiral butterflies typically migrate south for winter, but climate change is enabling some to overwinter here. On sunny days you may even see them flying in search of nectar.

This is Secret Garden content

This content is exclusive to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber you can access this content by subscribing to Gardeners' World.

Unlock now