Posted 25th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
The sight of bees and butterflies never fails to uplift the spirit - however, how do you go about attracting them to your garden?
Moving from flower to flower, pollinating our gardens and wild flowers, they allow plants to reproduce and also provide population control for several plant and insect species, as well as being a food source for other animals too.
In short, they make the world a little more colourful.
Their presence and absence tells us a lot about the local environment, with the British Bee Keepers Association telling us that one third of the food we eat would not be available if it was not for bees.
A recent survey conducted by Squire's Garden Centre found 70 per cent of us would like to encourage more butterflies and bees into their gardens - and they have just the suggestions to do so.
1 Plant vibrant and colourful plants
Butterflies and bees will visit any garden, regardless of the size - all they need are suitable nectar-rich plants from which they can feed. Plenty of pink and purple plants are partcularly popular with our winged friends - for instance Buddleia, Verbena, Lavender or Marjoram.
2 Give them warmth and shelter
Butterflies and bees both enjoy the warmth, so place your plants in a sunny sheltered spot. You can give bees shelter by letting your grass grow to various lengths - this will suit the different species. For butterflies, how about a butterfly house? You can also place nectar feeders in a quiet sunny spot.
3 Give them a drink
Give your garden visitors some water to drink - this could be a pond, a birdbath, or even a shallow dish filled with water. You need to make sure you add a few stones or marbles to provide a surface for them to drink from - otherwise, they could end up drowning in water bowls.
4 Help a tired bee
Add two spoons of sugar to one spoon of water and leave the spoon in front of a tired bee. It will be rejuvenated once it's eaten.
5 Help a tired butterfly
You can make a warm resting place for a tired butterfly by laying a few flat stones in a sunny part of the garden - make sure it's sheltered from the wind.
Plants that could attract butterflies and bees to your garden include:
Information courtesy of Squires