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Happy gardening!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Butterflies that don't just flutter by!

I've had a wonderful day working out in my own garden for a change and just having time to really enjoy what we've got here and to reflect back to the day we bought this place and realise just quite how much the garden has come on.

Since the warmer weather has arrived and with many more plants in flower, there has been a steady increase in the numbers and varieties of butterflies which can be seen fluttering from one clump of plants to the next - interesting too that different ones seem to take a liking for different plants - so if you take time to discover what certain butterflies like then you stand a greater chance of encouraging them into your garden - obviously it's also important to provide a good source of food for the caterpillars too - nettles are one of the favorites! One little book that I've found invaluable is the Collins Nature Guide to Butterlies and Moths of Britain and Europe - it provides good detail on habitats of the butterfly and caterpillar and favorite foods!

I even saw our first Swallow Tail butterfly the other day - one of the occasions when I didn't have my camera.

However, we've had a number of Orange Tips (female has no orange on her at all!), some wonderful Brimstones and a Red Admiral which I've managed to get pictures of - there are others which I'll post up in due course!

The Orange Tip seems to be partial to the Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), wheras the Brimstone loves Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) and the Red Admiral seems to make a bee-line for the Cephalaria gigantea (a pale yellow giant version of a Scabious).

I also thought I'd add these whilst on the subject of insects visiting our garden...

A beautiful Damsel Fly on the Crocosmia leaves

and another little grasshopper in the middle of one of the poppy heads!
and another Damsel Fly doing her acrobatics in the grass...

and last but not least the bees cannot be left out - having a wonderful time in the Sage!

10 comments:

Border Reiver said...

Blimey Miranda that's an early posting from France? Great previous post re the Water Vole, fabulous photos and so glad you shared this with us. Pretty much the same here in that the warmer weather has brought out the insects. Hard to tell exactly what your damselflies are from the photos but I think the bottom of the two is an Arigon virgo, but I find dameslflies are complex to Id without close up's of the wings and thorax. But does it matter, they're lovely to look at. Enjoy the sun and keep those thunderstorms over there, they're heading to the SW this afternoon.

Miranda Bell said...

Hiya glad you enjoyed the posts - we've had rain here already today and feel sure we've more to come so hopefully you won't get thunderstorms quite yet!

I asked Cheryl but you may have some thoughts - I'm very keen to get an illustrated book on insects including all the different bees, damsel flies etc and wonder if you have one you might be able to recommend or a couple! I've got the collins nature guide to Butterflies and Moths of Britain and Europe so it doesn't have to include butterflies etc. Hope you can help... Bon weekend - Miranda

Anita said...

Dear Miranda,

Nice to meet you and thanks a lot for visting my garden blog and introducing yourself! So you are British lady living in France? Wow, I love France and everything French!

I very much like your photos, especially the lose-ups, too!

Happy gardening and I am looking forwared to welcoming you again in my little garden paradise!

Best wishes, Anita

Cheryl said...

Lovely post Miranda......well I would like it, wouldn't I?
The host plant for the orange tip butterfly is ladies smock, of course she will use other plants in the same family.
Love the little carder bee, they are such a pretty little things.

We have lots of damselflies at the moment, my little granddaughter thinks they are fairies....who am I to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Hello again Miranda. So nice to share a cup of tea this afternoon, and now to find you on here is a treat. Your friend the Water Vole is lovely. Suppose that the excess of rain water is welcome if the resulting flood brings someone such as him right to the french doors to pose for photographs. Now that I've remembered to seek out your blog, I'll be sure to visit on a regular basis!

Nancy Warren said...

Oh, don't know why my post [the one just above] came up "anonymous." I put my name and it hasn't come through. A further thought -- when you can, recommend something on the blog if you will about growing lavender here in Brittany. Are the English varieties best? Thanx! Nancy Warren

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Cheryl - thanks for your kind comments - lovely thoughts your Granddaughter has on the damselflies too! I think all in all you'd really like it in Brittany - a lot of the countryside is quite unspoilt and as a result encourages all sorts of wildlife - just not many rabbits!

Hi Nancy - thanks for dropping by... and thanks to for the real cup of tea - it was great to catch up with you and Paul and see all that you've been doing on your house... something on Lavenders sounds like a good idea - will see what I can do! Hope to see you again before too long...

Happy Gardening... Miranda

Terra farmer said...

Hi Miranda, this is my first visit and your pictures are really beautiful!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Terra Farmer - glad you enjoyed visiting my website - will be posting some new things in the very near future - just need to find a free day!! Do visit again soon.

Miranda

Good Acres said...

Lovely photos of the butterflies!