Gardening for Wildlife (and photography)

We have a small front and back garden which have completely different conditions and uses. Whilst the back is an extension to the house, the front is in full public view.  With this in mind the back was designed by James to be tranquil and shady, with quite a few trees, and, although there are some flowers, this is not the focus.  The back also has a pond, and is designed with both wildlife and us in mind.  The front is another story!

The front garden is south facing and is blasted by the sun for much of the day.  It is also not at all sheltered and can have the wind whipping across it.  It has been designated as a place for flowers, and, hopefully insects.  I am therefore packing in as many flowers, colours and as much  movement in as possible.  The hope is that I will be able to take photos of both the flowers and the insects that they attract, but also have something vivid that will eventually work through all the seasons.

I started the garden a year ago, and have a few plants that have really worked well.  One of these is verbena bonariensis.  I have tried growing this for a few years from seed, but never got any to germinate.  I was therefore over the moon when my mother-in-law gave me three small plants that had seeded in her garden.  Last year they attracted the white butterflies, as well as the occasional tortoiseshell.  This year?  Well, it is a good year for Painted Ladies, and the good news is that they have found my garden.  Saturday was the first sunny day in a while and we had three Painted Ladies in the garden, all on the Verbena.

As I was hoping it would attract insects I planted it next to the path, this makes photography easier.  I took a few photos yesterday, but the wind made it a little difficult at times, but the Summer is hopefully young and I will get some good shots at some point.  Here is one of my better shots – have you seen one of these this year?

Painted Lady on Verbena
Painted Lady on Verbena

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