Buddleias and Butterflies…

I wasn’t as rigorous as I should have been with the pruning of my various Buddleia bushes this Spring. I had done a cursory cutting back in the winter, just so that branches were shorter and less liable to damage by the wind. But, as the winter was mild, (and I was still in London in late February when I would normally have done it). Arriving back, the shrubs were in full leaf and I didn’t have the heart to cut all of that growth off…

Result being that most of my Buddleias have almost finished flowering, when they really should just be starting. They are such an invaluable late Summer food plant for so many Butterflies, and having them almost guarantees sightings of most of my garden’s regulars, that I’m hoping that they’ll still find reasons to visit. I’m deadheading constantly, hoping that I can encourage a later flush of flowers.

So, here are some of my Buddleia bushes, and an assortment of this Summer’s butterflies:

Buddleia davidii ‘Royal Red’. Obviously not ‘red’, rather a wonderful, intense violet/magenta. Not as vigorous or hardy as the bog standard ones, but very special.

Buddleia davidii ‘Dark Knight’. So purple that in some light it assumes a velvety blackness… Again, not as vigorous here as the more common colours, and I’ve had more trouble striking cuttings from this one, (I have got some in a pot from last autumn which seem to have made it.)

By complete contrast. Buddleia weyeriana. Sunny yellow, globes of flowers. A vigorous thug of a plant. Easy to grow and easy to propagate. Mine came originally from a neighbouring allotment in Walthamstow and was one of the first things planted when I started turning my corner of a field into a garden…

And, having said how much butterflies love Buddleia, not a single one of these beauties were photographed on it!

Comma on Bracken.

Purple Hairstreak on Bramble.

Silver-washed Fritillary on Knapweed.

Brown Argus on Sow Thistle.

Map butterfly on dried grass.

Swallowtail on Verbena bonariensis.

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