The year, as a personal project in support of the International Year of Biodiversity, I decided to build a 'butterfly' garden. Having recently built an approx, 1 metre x 1 metre raised bed in the corner of our tiny garden, I wanted to grow a flower bed that would benefit and attract into the garden, all kinds of butterflies, moths, bees and other insects. The project soon developed the nick-name 'Bio-Square 2010'. Reluctant to spend large amounts of money on expensive plants from supermarket-like garden centres, almost all of the plants used in Bio-Square were grown from seeds or 'rescued' from other areas of the garden. In my efforts to attract a wide range of insects, I chose plants that were either native wildflowers, or rich nectar sources. These plants included Scabious, Corn Marigold, Thyme and Lavender, Poached Egg plants, Corn Flowers and Corn Cockles, Nasturtiums, and Night-Scented Stock. I also included some of my favourite flowers; Sweet Peas, to add some height and make the most of the upright, as well as the flat growing space available to me.
The photos below show Bio-Square 2010 in its early stages. (The structure on the left of the photo is our Wild Bird Feeding Station, regularly invaded by the local mob of House Sparrows, among other species.)
The flowers have been spectacular; a total riot of colour that buzzes all day long with uncountable bees and flying insects. The variety of species attracted to the Bio-Square project has been amazing.
Its interesting, and quite exciting, to think that if everyone planted just one square metre of wildflowers or other nectar rich plants, or even a window box, what a huge difference it would make to our native Butterfly, Bee and insect populations, all of which really need our help.