Big Butterfly Count and Best Plants for Butterflies

Marbled White butterfly on knapweed. Image: Canva

The Big Butterfly Count 2022 is upon us! Running until 7th August, this nationwide citizen science project is a fantastic way to help our native butterflies whilst having a bit of fun in the process. With numbers of many of our native species dwindling, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on their populations. Using the data from your sightings, conservationists can gain a clearer picture of how species are faring in different areas and habitats, which in turn helps to inform their conservation.

All you need to do is pick a spot in your garden or out and about where you’re likely to see some butterflies. Sit for 15 minutes and jot down how many of each species you see using Butterfly Conservation’s handy ID chart. It’s a great excuse to relax for 15 minutes, a fun project to do with the kids, and an easy way to do your bit to help out our butterflies in their hour of need. If you want to do more to help butterflies, we’ve compiled our top recommendations for the best plants for butterflies below too. Let’s make this year’s Big Butterfly Count as big as the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch!

Maybe you’d like to see some more butterflies in your garden? Here are a few of our top recommendations for the best plants to attract butterflies to your garden.

Best plants for attracting butterflies

Painted Lady butterfly on buddleja. Image: Canva

  • Buddleja – known as butterfly bush, buddleja will be a magnet for any butterflies in the area. Our famous dwarf Buddleja Buzz® packs the same punch whilst fitting in even the smallest garden or patio!
  • Verbena bonariensis – a hardworking herbaceous perennial that’s a staple of borders and naturalistic planting. Butterflies love drawing nectar from the tiny tubular flowers.
  • Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) – a fantastic addition to any wildflower meadow that’s a magnet for butterflies and bees alike, and is particularly attractive to the beautiful marbled white butterfly.
  • Scabious (Knautia) – there are many varieties in a range of sizes and colours to suit any border, container or wildflower meadow. Field scabious is a UK native wildflower that’s great for incorporating into any meadow and is loved by butterflies.
  • Lavender – it’s evergreen, it’s fragrant, it’s drought resistant and butterflies love it – what more reason do you need to plant lavender? Cultivars of Lavandula x intermedia are the best of all for pollinators.
  • Marjoram – as well as being a valuable culinary herb, marjoram is a great all-rounder that’s loved by a whole range of pollinators.

Gatekeeper butterfly on marjoram. Image: Canva

See our guide to how to encourage butterflies into your garden and our top 10 plants for butterflies for more ideas.

Fun Houseplants for Children (& Grown Ups!)

Three cacti decorated with specs and lips

Image: Shutterstock

From meat-eating plant monsters like the Venus Fly Trap to collectible cacti, there’s a houseplant out there to spark the interest of every child plus a host of creative ways to display them which will engage their imaginations. Houseplants can be a way for children to express their individuality and enjoy a sense of accomplishment in owning, learning about and caring for, their own unique plant collections.

Of course, kids don’t have to have all the fun! The plants below also make great gifts for curious grown-ups who’ll appreciate something a bit more unusual on their kitchen windowsill! (more…)

Vibrant veg growing blogs

Basket full of fresh veg

Take some tips from these amazing bloggers about growing veg!
Image: Shutterstock

If growing veg is your thing, you’ll love our selection of some of the best vibrant veg growing blogs around. From ingenious folk who garden the smallest of plots, to budding self-sufficiency enthusiasts and smallholders, here we present some of the very best online diaries from the most prolific and knowledgeable gardeners you’ll find anywhere.


Grow your own summer drinks recipes

People sitting around a table in the summer

Enjoy sharing homegrown food and drinks this summer 
Image: Jack Frog 

There’s nothing more satisfying than sharing fresh, homegrown produce with friends and family on a warm summer evening. Except, perhaps, relaxing with a cool sundowner to properly enjoy the garden you’ve spent all year working on!

We asked green-fingered bloggers to tell us their favourite homegrown summer drinks recipes. From light and refreshing cordials the whole family can enjoy, through to something a little stronger to keep you warm as the sun goes down, here’s how to distil a glut into a glass.


Dreaming of a green Christmas

Wooden wreath with berries and leaves

Simplify the season of goodwill
Image source: Galina Grebenyuk

Christmas is the season of goodwill. A time for giving, and enjoying festivities with family. But all too often it becomes the season of ‘stuff’ – unwanted presents, plastic packaging and reams of wrapping paper – symptoms of the over-consumption that has such a negative impact on the natural world.

If you want to simplify the festive season, accumulate less ‘stuff’ and reduce your carbon footprint, here are a some ideas for a greener Christmas…

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