Help butterflies and moths in the new Wild About Gardens campaign and create a place for contemplation and discovery for your community.
The Wild About Gardens campaign run by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts is collaborating with film producers Studio
Canal this year to coincide with the release of the film adaptation of The Secret Garden to celebrate the healing power of gardens. Community groups, schools and individuals are urged to grow a Secret Garden for Butterflies, creating a new ‘butterfly border’ or, for those with less space, a ‘butterfly box’. The new gardens will offer nectar-rich planting for adult butterflies and larval food plants for their young, while also creating a contemplative space to observe nature.
Helen Bostock, RHS Senior Horticultural Advisor says: ‘The best thing we gardeners can do is think about the whole life cycle, so we are creating feeding grounds for caterpillars, butterflies and everything else that depends on them. This doesn’t mean sacrificing your whole garden, but perhaps allowing an area that could support a new generation of butterflies, but which may also feed hungry baby birds.’ Grow a Secret Butterfly Garden Your butterfly garden
Top tips from RHS Senior Horticultural Advisor Helen Bostock
- Your garden could offer a tranquil space for people to relax while taking in one of our most beautiful and mesmerising native insects. Start by making a rough design.
- Position benches and other seating so visitors to the garden can experience butterflies up close. Arrange your perennials in traditional long beds, perhaps either side of a gravel pathway, or get creative with island or raised beds, dedicating a bed to each season.
- Planning your butterfly border or butterfly box If opting for a new butterfly border, seek a sunny site at least 3m by 1m.
- Choose a range of nectar-rich plants for adults and larval food plants for caterpillars.
- If planting a ‘box’ or container, aim for one which is at least 20cm x 50cm x 20cm and either plant a range of nectar plants, or allow a single type of larval food plant to fill your container to entice in egg-laying females (if they don’t find enough food for their young they won’t lay there)
- If planting boxes, see if you’ve space for at least two – one providing food for adults and one for their young, following the above advice.
For more information and to download the full brochure explaining the vital role of wildflowers on butterfly and moth habitats, click the link below