Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Butterflies: at last!

You wait a month.. then 3 come together! ( C.OO'S)

A plant such as Verbena bonariensis, is worthy in its own right: nearly 2 meters tall, fine and wispy , so welcome in a mixed border with various lead positions to be shared with Sedums and other performers.

Its fine delicate flowers, soft lilac and borne on the end of the long stems, sometimes in groups of three or four bracts, are further enhanced by their attractiveness to butterflies.

We went through the month of August with little or no butterfly activity, though bees and hoverflies were present in numbers (see earlier August post.) 

With Septembers coming we have at last a week of high pressure and some settled weather to enjoy. Swallows and Martins seem to be flying for fun, feeding up now in advance of the great push south.

Sedum Purple Emperor with Small Tortoiseshell & Bumble Bee (c. OO'S)

 I am delighted to report that Small Tortoiseshells were out in numbers yesterday evening:  I counted  8 in a small area of Verbena and  Sedum telephium (Purple Emperor) in a sunny part of the garden.    The bed is west facing and bathed in sunlight from mid day til late evening; drainage here is excellent and the soil light and stony..  Just as well, other plants doing well here include  Perovskia blue spire, or Russian Sage and Daisies such as Anthemis, EC Buxton.  The Perovskia is native to Afghanistan and suited to dry, arid conditions, available in this location of our garden, despite the record wet summer!

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