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I have recently moved and made flower beds,  at the back of my house is a field of long grass and weeds, which used to be a meadow with cows.  Lots and lots of butterflies have visited my garden, and now I do not have a garden the caterpillars have eaten everything,  delphiniums, sunflowers, roses , lobelia, holyhocks, ,tomato leaves the only thing left is my mint and the foxgloves everything else has been eaten I have mainly found green caterpillars but also a few brown ones, I have never know butterflies to lay eggs on so many plants, there a plenty of weeds, nettles etc over the fence,  will I have to spray next year??



  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Did you see the Springwatch programme this evening?  Butterflies need 'weeds' and especially nettles.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    some people have the National Collection of hostas or snowdrops. You could go for the National Collection of butterfliesimage

  • SingySingy Posts: 206

    I have had a similar experience although not to this level, i am just letting them get on with it and if it helps the wldlife then so be it.

    I discovered what i believe to be Leek Moth caterpillars in abundance eating their way through the onions, garlic and some of the lettuce, the lupins and hollyhock have lots of holes but are still ok to look at.


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    I'm sorry, Verdun, if my remark sounded facetious. It wasn't meant to be. I live in an isolated area and have 2 metre high nettles all along one border of 150 feet and a field on the other full of sheep and weeds. My third boundary fence is shared with my one neighbour who is a salt of the earth type but who is also unable to see anything without thinking it needs a good spray with weedkiller or pesticide. I have no wish to impose my completely diametrically opposed views on him and so I shrug my shoulders, put up screen netting and think of all the nice things he has done for me since I moved in.

    If anybody watched the programme on TV last night and seen what a sorry plight our butterflies and moths are in they cannot help but have thought that we should do everything we can to keep them alive. Susan is one of the few people in the country who has the privilege of being able to do something to help them. Yes, she wants to have apretty garden, but so often pretty gardens are deserts for wild life.

    Sorry Susan for using you as an example and I wish you well with your efforts to keep them in check.

  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,540

    A contentious topic methinksimage I don't use pesticide, and I love seeing the insects and butterflies in the garden, it's njust ust my garden, we are custodians of nature as well.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    The idea that I'm rather ineptly trying to get across is that sometimes a problem is so insurmountable or beyond our control ( in my case, huge armies of nettles massing on the border, escaping sheep, weeds and a Rambo style neighbour) that you just have to Look On The Bright Side. So I have butterflies living on the nettles and making colour in the garden, free manure and lots of laughs (Herdwick sheep are nature's clowns) and cups of tea and chats with someone who has had an interesting life who I could so easily have had a row with.image

  • dolgarrogdolgarrog Posts: 83

    waterbutts - if you'd like to send your interesting neighbour over to me he could go nuts with his weedkiller on my japanese knotweed problem!!!!

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    dolgarrog - my neighbour is even older than I am and has chemicals in old bottles in his garden shed that I am sure were banned under the Geneva convention. The first year I moved in I couldn't understand why all my veg had gone yellow and died within a week - spindrift from his spraying in a stiff northerly breeze.  Sorry to hear about the Japanese knotweed. Cut each stem and pour a little Roundup down each one. Yes, I have been known to resort to weedkiller. Got rid of itimage

    Verdun, I find that if I stuff the flower beds full, and I mean full, of things (nowhere to put a foot down without treading on something) the insects and other things like birds have too much choice or find the undergrowth too intimidating to enter. That has been my solution to my particular problem. 


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