Bring in the butterflies this July

Butterfly on Buddleja

Did you know that the UK has 50 resident butterfly species and dozens more are fluttering around Europe? Butterflies are brilliant, and it's really easy to lure them into your garden with open some blooms.

The Horticultural Trades Association's 'Plant of the Moment' is any nectar-rich plant which supports butterflies, including bedding plants, perennials, flowering shrubs and bulbs.

It recommends planting Buddleja, AKA Butterfly Bush, which funnily enough flutterbys go for like iron filings to a magnet. It's hardy, reliable and really easy to grow – you'll spot it growing out of derelict buildings and along railways – and its dwarf and compact varieties fit into pots or tiny spaces. They flower in a range of colours from pink and white to blue, lavender, magenta and deep purple.

Lavenders are also handy nectar stores for insects, while flowering perennials like varieties of Rudbeckia and Cone Flower (Echinacea) attract butterflies while providing floral displays over several months.

Ice Plants (Sedum) also feed Small Tortoiseshell and other late-flying butterflies ahead of hibernation with their autumn flowers.

Don't forget the littl'uns too: butterflies need different varieties of plants on which to lay their eggs and to feed caterpillars.

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