Dig It : Sit In The Sun

Peacock Butterfly

August is the month for sitting back in the garden and enjoying the bright colours as the bees and butterflies explore the nectar-rich flower borders.

But, there are still some gentle jobs to be done such as deadheading to extend the flowering season and seed collecting.

Native wild flowers and hardy annuals can be left so that some seed heads ripen and cast their seeds around.

When harvesting only use seed which has been allowed to fully ripen. Tap the seed head over paper bags or envelopes and store somewhere with a dry, even temperature.

It is still not too late to find room for plants that will extend the flowering season into autumn.

Autumn colours are marvellously mellow – the beautiful Michaelmas Daisy with its violet and blue flower heads is part of the huge aster family and is so called because it flowers around the date of the Feast of St Michael in late September.

Aster cordifolius ‘Little Carlo’ is a trouble free option. It is rich in nectar and isn’t susceptible to mildew.

Another good choice is Aster novae angliae ‘Harrington Pink’ – both are valuable nectar sources for newly hatched Red Admirals, Peacocks and Tortoiseshells.

Helenium autumnale, more commonly known as sneezeweed, is another key nectar source at this time of year for Red Admiral and Comma. Both these species will also benefit from leaving Wild Ivy to flower.

And, for those of you taking part in Moth Night, be sure to keep an eye on your Buddleia – the bushes can prove irresistible to the beautiful day-flying Jersey Tiger.

Happy Gardening,

The BC Towers 'Secret Gardener'