The late summer garden gets a huge thumbs up from me. Late butterfly visitors are sometimes seen on sunny days feeding in my front garden. They do make me smile. They also make trying to capture photos and video quite a challenge. As others will agree, this can be a tad compulsive too :-)
I never see large numbers of butterflies visit my garden at any one time and I’ve only seen a few species. Seen (so far) here in my small Scottish Garden have been Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, Painted Lady’s & Small Whites.
However, as regular blog visitors might expect, I do try my best to encourage wildlife to visit my garden by providing a variety of food. My nectar feeders didn’t appear to interest the butterflies (that I saw) but at the moment the plants in my front garden are.
Understandably known as the butterfly bush, my young Buddleja with only a few flowers is proving very popular as you will see here in a few of many photographs taken. Considering the butterflies will pass this way I have increased a planting of sedum earlier this year which is nearing flowering time.
Where butterflies/insects are concerned I am working on the theory of grouping plants that they may visit all in the one area to attract them. Some gardeners may call this a nectar bar. Lol... short on space for planting in my front garden you could call mine a mini bar ;-)
Winter damaged plants that were left to regrow sadly haven’t. So planting space free, with a bit of revamp to my window border we have the return of Verbena Bonariensis.
Yep… Verbena Bonariensis will be a very popular tipple in my butterfly mini bar when it flowers. I’ve a plan in mind to protect it this winter and plan to take cuttings too. Oh yes… and I have a pkt of seed to make sure I have some plants for next year.
As ever, I am optimistic that I will see new species arrive in my garden one fine, sunny day. This gardenwatch blog has shown me to expect the unexpected and always to keep a keen eye out the window!
Looking out my window tonight to wet, windy weather where bird feeders have been knocked off their tree hooks my thoughts went to the people and wildlife of Texas as wildfires rage there. I hope my blogging friends are safe and well.
Safe and enjoying the Buddleja in my garden on Sunday were bees and a Peacock butterfly. Safe too yesterday was a Red Admiral butterfly - although it did have a challenge holding on during gusts of wind.
Wings out fully like this it isn’t easy to miss.
when it feeds vertically with its wings tighter together.
Most butterflies can be easily missed when their wings are folded completely up and they show their camouflaged underside pattern. Photos of the Red Admiral yesterday switched back and forth to the activity at the House Martin nest built at the front of my house.
Youngsters could be heard chirping excitedly for food with the fledglings of earlier broods hanging around the nest too. I’m not sure how many broods we have had since nest building began back in June. Books suggest they could have 1-3 broods.
I might guess our House Martin nest has had three broods but how successful they have been I couldn’t tell. They are pretty high up under the eaves of our house and I have great difficulty seeing the camera screens when trying to capture images due to light coming in from the side angles.
As it was windy yesterday and the grasses and bamboo next to my Buddleja were making a rustling noise I was able to get closer to the Red Admiral butterfly with my camera which was a bonus.
Round in my shadier back garden there has been even more activity with late juvenile birds arriving at the feeders. Getting photos from my window is tricky and not so clear but I loved this shot with the juvenile Goldfinch with a sunflower heart taken at the end of August. Much fluttering of wings was done to get it too.
The middle of August saw begging Blackbird juveniles too. Note how close the seed feeder and fat ball is too! Taking photos in this area is a tad tricky too with extremes of shade and strong sunshine together.
A little closer and a bit easier to adjust light levels for images is the area right under my window. I had to end with this shot of another juvenile and one that has been a delight to watch from my window. The Dunnock is more of an insect feeder but this juvenile has taken a liking to sunflower hearts.
At a guess, based on when the first juvs were seen in my garden earlier this year, I’d say the Dunnocks may have had three broods but definitely two. I’d say both Goldfinches and Greenfinches have had two broods (maybe three). I’d also guess our Siskins have had two broods too.
What a busy place the garden is isn’t it… then there’s the border revamps… just how many can a gardener have in one season? What are you up to in your garden just now? What birds and butterflies are visiting you? Do share them in a comment – we’d all love to hear about them.
Sorry, you’ve not been hearing so much from me lately. Hope to get back to normal blogging service soon :-)
This post was written by Shirley for the blog shirls gardenwatch in September 2011.