According to the Butterfly Conservation Charity, butterfly numbers are in decline and loss of habitat is a big part of the reason for that. Butterflies need nectar to survive and so many of our garden flowers, beautiful as they are, are the wrong shape for butterflies to feed from...those big wings just don't fit into tightly arranged petals or trumpet shaped flowers; but it's not just flowers they need, it's food for their caterpillars.
Now, as someone who likes to try to grow a few veggies, I'm not always happy to share my greens with caterpillars but I guess there needs to be a compromise somewhere, after all, without caterpillars, some of our songbirds would struggle to find food...they're an important part of the food chain. As a farmer's wife, I also know that you're unlikely to find a caterpillar on any of the agricultural crops around here. It's understandable, crops are our living and just as I don't want to lose my cabbage crop to caterpillars, we simply can't afford to sacrifice the large scale crops for wildlife....(deer, the pigeons, rabbits have already taken a proportion of our wheat and pea crops)
|Meadowmat planted along the edge of a garden creates wildlife habitat|
without affecting the way the rest of the space is used
This weekend I shall be adding some pollinator friendly flowering plants to my borders...just in case the weather finally improves enough for the butterflies and bees to come out to tea.