Attracting bees

There’s been growing concern over the shortage of bees in our country and elsewhere. It seems a number of things are responsible for it: weather, the use of insecticides, lack of govt funding for support and research, etc. This simply encourages me all the more to keep planting things that I know the bees would love. I was concerned when our willow tree seemed to be lacking in bees visiting when it first opened in flower but the bees did turn up eventually. And they’ve stayed, visiting all corners of our garden.

Here a bee is busy at work in a buttercup which grows wild on our lawns.
Bee in Buttercup

This is a buddleja in our neighbour’s garden. We’re waiting for ours to open up. They’re also known as the ‘butterfly bush’ but I believe the bees enjoy them as well.

Buddleja in flower

Butterflies in the garden

I’ve been delighting in adding to our garden, plants and flowers I knew that butterflies would love. I watched an episode of Australian Gardening some months ago that spoke of developing our gardens for butterflies. I got inspired to do similar in our garden and now watch eagerly for the butterflies. I’ve even begun a Facebook Page and also a Facebook Group for others to join in (would love to see more at both).

Butterfly on daisy

Butterfly on flower

And on top of our Cherry Laurel tree which is quite tall
Butterfly on top of Cherry Laurel

Butterflies at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

While exploring these gardens I saw a beautiful butterfly I’d not seen before, so welcome any comments about what the name might be 🙂 I thought it was gorgeous and beautifully marked and coloured, don’t you?

Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

And then I saw this Painted Lady which is a fairly common species here in Australia but still lovely to look at. It had made itself at home on the paper daisy. I love its furry look on its body.

Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

The Butterfly Garden

Anyone who knows me personally knows that when I’m enthused about something I tend to put my all into it and get excited about my latest project. And so this one is no different. I was watching Gardening Australia on Ch2 last Saturday night and one of the segments was about a lady who is a horticulturalist and a photographer.  She’s created a butterfly garden at her home and has many species of butterflies there on a regular basis.  I was enraptured by the segment and the thought that I could create the same here at home. I’ve always loved watching butterflies and do often photograph them.  Another place I like to visit is the Butterfly House at the Melbourne Zoo and I never miss going in there whenever I visit.  You probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that one of my butterfly photos at Flickr.com was chosen to be used for a tourist site a few years ago, to advertise the Butterfly House. I was delighted and gave my permission.

Butterfly on leaf

Both photos were taken in the Butterfly House at the Melbourne Zoo.

The Butterfly House

After watching the episode on TV I began to think about the garden here at home and felt that the strip we have at the bottom of our lawns is probably the ideal place. We’ve already begun filling the two sections with as many bushes and plants as we can over the past year to crowd out the weeds. Investigation on what type of plants I should have for a butterfly garden showed that we already have a good half dozen types towards that goal. All I need to do is get more.  Plus put out a couple of flat rocks for the butterflies to sun themselves, as that is a sunny spot in the garden, and make sure there’s some water for them in a shallow dish. I have a great little boy statue that will serve that purpose.

84-366 Our bird bath and small statue

The little boy statue I will shift to the butterfly garden.
He’s holding a shallow dish.

And so it is that I will begin to document my progress. To that end, I’ve set up a page at Facebook called The Butterfly Garden and I invite you to come like the page and watch my progress.  I’ve also set up a group by the same name so that others can share their interest in doing the same and share their pictures in the group.

The Butterfly House

Another image from The Butterfly House