Forum home Wildlife gardening

Butterfly ponderings...


I've been building up my garden for the lest few years since moving in and I am new to gardening apart from gardening with my mum as a child. I have loads of flowers and  small veg patch and small greenhouse.

Eventually we'll re-fence and remove an old garage and put in a wildlife pond.

I love the garden to be full of life- we have a great amount of house sparrows and bees and I wanted butterflies so put in Verbena boneriensis last year. 

This year we've had loads of those cabbage whites/ small whites. I think they're pretty and was quite happy... also just a short period of those gate keepers but they've gone- not sure why : (

Today I noticed my nasturtiums being eaten by caterpillars (now identified as cabbage white/ small white/caterpillars). The nasturtiums did really well this year so theres lots of them but after googling I wondered if I've attracted too many of the wrong type of caterpillar as most people seem really unhappy with them!  

The gardens organic so I wondered if they have a natural predator to keep them in check? Someone said blue tits but Ive never seen them around here (south east London) ... also should I really be concerned as I have no desire to grow cabbage (my least fave veg) certainly at the moment...if its only cabbage and sprouts that they bother in terms of veg then maybe I can live with a small amount of nasturtium munching?

Also, does anyone know why the gatekeepers appeared then went away?

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts on butterflies! 

Not the most serious of problems but I am still educating myself on the garden and love to get peoples experiences on this.

Thanks!! : )


  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,214

    I think you can get nematodes for caterpillars but they're probably quite an expensive solution so maybe better to tolerate them unless they get too voracious! I've given up growing nasturtiums because they always get ravaged by caterpillars.

    According to gatekeepers only have a very short flight period - about 4 weeks around July and August. They overwinter as caterpillars so are probably in that stage at the moment.

Sign In or Register to comment.