As mid-summer arrives and the weather begins to warm, our gardens are buzzing with wildlife, from buzzing bees beginning to nest, to brilliant butterflies and dragonflies.

You may start to see heather coming into bloom, bursting into a beautiful sea of pink and purples. Gorgeous to look at, they also provide a safe space for ground nesting birds throughout breeding season and offer a sumptuous source of nectar for insects.

Our gardens are not just a place for us to enjoy, they also provide a vital support system for all kinds of wildlife, including butterflies; with over 22 species to spot, it’s important to know what plants to grow, and where to grow them if butterflies are to thrive in your gardens and green spaces.

Flowers such as buddleia (butterfly bush), dahlias, erysimum, geraniums, lavender and roses will attract our fluttering friends but also provide a summer nectar source. Make sure to position your plants in a sunny sheltered location where possible, or a window box on a balcony will also work if that’s all the space you have available.
When food begins to get a bit scarce in the autumn, an old banana will provide a welcome sight as butterflies love a sugary treat but be aware that these may also attract wasps and hornets, so they are best placed away from your regular garden seat.

Our butterflies need our help, which is why the Butterfly Conservation are urging everyone to take part in the Big Butterfly Count which begins in July, running through to 5 August. This is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping assess the health of our environment simply by counting and recording the amount and type of butterflies we see. Find out more on how to take part at

For more nature friendly gardening tips go to – or consider becoming an RSPB member to receive an award-winning quarterly magazine and free entry to RSPB nature reserves near you.