Butterflies

Information about butterflies in the garden

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This butterfly house looks great in the garden
This butterfly house looks great in the garden

It was only recently that I came to know about butterfly hibernation boxes (sometimes called butterfly houses). I have never seen one in a garden in my area and the idea made me rather inquisitive. So I set out to do some research about butterfly houses. Do they work?

What is a butterfly house?

A butterfly house or hibernation box is a small wooden box with slits in the front for butterflies to get in and out. Inside there are normally some upright pieces of bark or moss fixed to the back for the butterflies to hold onto. The idea is that the butterfly species that overwinter as adults will be able to use these boxes as a safe place to spend the winter, protected from the weather. Butterflies could also use them to take ...continue reading

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Most of us know how important pollination is, not only in our own gardens but also for food crops. Just what insects pollinate flowers and how do they do it?

A bee and a butterfly sharing dinner?
A bee and a butterfly sharing dinner?

Pollination is important, not only in the flower garden, but also in the food garden, for fruit trees and for some crops. Without pollination the plants will not make fruit, seeds and nuts like they are supposed to. Pollination by wind is the way many fields of cops are pollinated, but in our gardens we need the insects to help us. This is just another reason why you would want to attract pollinator insects to your garden.

Insects that pollinate flowers are often called ...continue reading

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Pollinator Paradise - a mixture of different wild flowers in a field.
Pollinator Paradise - a mixture of different wild flowers in a field.

I am sure you know what pollination is and what some of the insects are that help with this, but do we know  how to attract pollinators to our gardens?

Most insect pollinators feed on nectar and pollen. One of the obvious ways to attract them is to plant a variety of nectar producing flowers in the garden. Variety is the key and you will want to include flowers, shrubs, bushes and ...continue reading

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A beautiful butterfly
A beautiful butterfly

These wonderful little creatures are welcome in most yards, adding life, colour and magic to the garden. They seem to magically appear and come to visit for a few days or weeks and then they disappear again. But where do butterflies live?

Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures. This means that they use the warmth of the sun to warm them up and they don’t like to move around when it is cold. For this reason you will find butterflies in areas where it is warm in summer, or all year round. They don’t like cold areas and will not be found in places close to the poles, like the Antarctic or the Arctic regions. ...continue reading

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This is not a question that I ever remember thinking about. A caterpillar in my life was just a caterpillar. I never thought it needed to be put in a group of any kind except its own. I want to share a little story with you that will explain why I had to answer this question.

A hairy caterpillar on a leaf
A hairy caterpillar on a leaf

At school my son’s class was studying insects. He came home and told me he had to catch live insects and take them to school in a jar. Not long after this I walked into the garden and saw a caterpillar munching happily on some mint. I broke off the piece of mint and put the caterpillar and the mint in a jar and presented it to him. He studied it carefully and then came the question: “Is a caterpillar an insect? It doesn’t have 6 legs.” ...continue reading