The idea in creating the Garden is to raise the profile of Butterfly Conservation and to enthuse others to garden for butterflies & moths by:
- attracting butterflies into the Garden, so that visitors are able to get good views of the more common species of both butterflies and moths,
- demonstrating the types of plants that will encourage butterflies & moths,
- experimenting with different habitats & management regimes to minimise maintenance without reducing the Garden's attractiveness to both people and wildlife.
The Garden continues to be maintained and developed by a team of enthusiastic volunteers and with the kind permission of Forestry England. It is designed to be at its best from June through to late September, though we hope that it will be of interest all the year round.
Chambers Farm Wood LN8 5JR (Grid ref: TF 147740) is located off the B1202 Bardney to Wragby road - follow the brown signs.
Join us in the Garden:
'Weed a bit, plant a bit, relax a bit - what a way to spend a day - a workout & relaxation therapy all for free!'
Contact: Audrey Spring (tel: 01472 879624)
The Butterfly Garden is open to all except on gardening days - Tuesdays 9.00am - 4.00pm until the end of May, due to coronavirus restrictions
Gardening: Dates and Time
Gardening days for 2021 - all are Tuesdays
All dates and times will depend on Coronovirus restrictions at the time
The gardening times will be: 9.00am to 1.00pm OR 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Gardening places are limited, please book with Audrey Tel: 01472 879624
|February||16th - suspended due to Coronavirus|
|March||2nd & 16th - suspended due to Coronavirus|
|April||20th & 27th|
|May||4th, 11th & 18th|
|June||1st & 15th|
|July||6th & 20th|
|August||3rd & 17th|
|September||7th volunteers BBQ at 4.00 pm & 21st|
5th & 19th
For all gardening, please wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Please bring your own tools and refreshments.
Please note: all dates are provisional and will depend on the weather conditions, so, please check with Audrey (tel: 01472-879624) to confirm before travelling.
Butterfly Garden Feature
Dave Thompson has produced this superb feature on his special moments of photography at Chambers Farm Wood butterfly garden. Please click on the link below to enjoy:
Top Ten Plants for Butterflies
- Perennial Wallflower: 'Bowles Mauve': Apr-Sept
- Red Valerian: May-Sept
- Sweet Rocket: 'Hesperis Matronalis': May-June
- Verbena Bonariensis: June-Oct: likes dry
- Marjoram: June-Sept
- Hebes: June-Aug
- Purple Loosestrife: July-Aug: Likes damp
- Buddleias varieties: July-Sept
- Sedum varieties: Aug-Oct
- Michaelmas Daisies: various: Aug-Oct
Plant of the Moment
Forget me not (Myosotis) - a good source of nectar for early insects
A flower for the coming weeks – Red Valerian: Centranthus rubra – which we hope will attract Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moths
News from the Garden: Our 'Blog'!
Tuesday 1st June 2021
- Hats were needed again, but this time to protect from the sun – a scorcher today. Fortunately we have access to a cool shelter for our breaks.
- A two week gap and everything is blooming. The Forget Me Nots are still flowering, as are Sweet Rocket and Red Campion. Rockroses are starting and Wood Cranesbill are bursting out all over, with Meadow Cranesbill quickly to follow. The Meadow Cranesbill is larger, has finer cut leaves, is more blue in colour and flowers slightly later than the Wood Cranesbill.
- The Heather was trimmed to stop it getting too leggy, and fed with liquid Ericaceous feed to help it cope with the mostly alkaline soil here.
- New poles were added to the shrub bed to support the Hop and Honeysuckle.
- We added a new - to us - plant called Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum Amabile), which hopefully will flower through the summer months.
- We have been leaving more of the grassed areas long, with mown paths where necessary – so far we are pleased with the result.
- Butterflies: Brimstone Female, Orange Tip Male and Speckled Wood
- The first Damselflies this year - Azure and Red were flitting around the pond.
- A Cuckoo was heard.
Next session: Tuesday 15th June
Tuesday 18th May 2021
- Another session devoted to restoring some order to a garden neglected due to Covid restrictions. It has been hard work but I do believe we are getting there. Weeds were removed, plants were put in place, mulch was added & the lot were watered.
- We know that come a month or two the plants will be stunning as usual. The Insect Hotel was given the once-over and almost immediately Red Mason Bees were inspecting the accommodation.
- The most exciting part of the day came when a large noisy swarm of Honey Bees passed through the garden – causing volunteers to scatter.
- Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip and Green-veined White
- Flowering: Forget-me-nots, White and Purple Honesty, Sweet Rocket, Comfrey, Red Campion, with Water Crowfoot in the pond.
Next Session: Tuesday 1st June
Tuesday 11th May 2021
- For a third week we were rained-off early, but work continued on restoring a modicum of order to the flower beds. The last of the Annual beds was cleared for planting.
- New shoots of Joe Pye Weed - Eupatorium maculatum were found and marked. Sedums were rescued and given space to expand. Both of these plants being excellent for pollinators.
- We discovered a new plant in the garden identified as Star of Bethlehem (see photo) – I can’t imagine how it arrived. The bed in which it was found has neither been dug-over or added to.
- Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange tip and Green-veined White
- Flowering: Primroses, Cowslips, Oxslips, Forget-me-nots, White and Purple Honesty, Dandelion, Comfrey, Red Campion and Greater Stitchwort.
- Red Valerian starting to flower.
- Notable birds: Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Nuthatch and Buzzard
Next Session: Tuesday 18 May
Tuesday 4th May 2021
- A second cold and damp Tuesday, but we are not down-hearted. There is much to do after a year of neglect, battling the encroachment of grass and other undesirable plants thought out the planted areas. We kept at it until the heavy rain came at 3.00pm.
- We also added our garden-produced quality mulch where needed and seeded two of the Annuals beds with insect friendly plants – multi-colour Scabious, Cornflower, Echium Blue Bedder, Orlaya grandiflora (new to us), Marigolds and Borage. The Annuals beds were netted to protect from the unwelcome attention of local wildlife.
- Surplus Field Scabious plants were relocated to sunny areas of ‘long grass’ around the perimeter of the garden.
Next Session: Tuesday 11th May – from 9.00am to 12.30 and from 12.30 to 4.00pm
Tuesday 27 April 2021
- After uninterrupted blue skies and sunshine for weeks, our garden session this week, is overcast, cold and damp. Still it kept us working to keep warm. And there was much to do.
- The shredding was completed and good compost is now available from the oldest bay of our 4-bay compost heap. We continued to work through the beds, weeding and deadheading. Though there was a bit of a problem identifying some of the perennials. Deciding between those we wanted to keep and encourage, and those like Greater Willowherb that we would rather be without. So much easier when they are more that than a couple of inches above the ground. Fortunately, we have a reference library in the Volunteers shed to refer to.
- A second annuals bed was cleared and compost added, ready for raking and sowing next week. We are trying seeds of multi-colour annual Cornflower, Scabious atropurpurea, a tall double mix, with Borage as an edging for one bed - Echium Blue Bedder and Corlaya grandiflora, an Umbellifer, both as seeds and seedlings in the second bed.
- The leaves of the Common spotted Orchids are starting to appear. Lots of Honey Bees were drinking at the edge of the pond. Primroses and Forget-me-nots were still the predominate flowers, with the Winter Heather flowering on and on.
- The plants of Enchanter’s Nightshade and Bush Vetch were identified just outside the garden.
Next Sessions; Tuesday 4 May - 9.00am to 1.00pm and 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Tuesday 20 April 2021 - First day in the garden this year. So good to be back
- Now a time to take stock. Garden has been scythed and raked, thanks to Mark. The pond is low but soil is relatively dry and workable. A good show of Primroses and Forget-me-nots plus Cowslips, some Oxslips, Sweet-Rocket, Pulmonaria, Comfrey with Winter Heather still flowering, providing nectar for the early insects
- A small team, numbers restricted still, made a start on the immediate essentials – topping up pond, mowing, shredding the scythings, necessary pruning, and repairing climbing supports. Undaunted others tackled selected areas - dead-heading, starting to clearing six months-worth of weeds from the large Shrub bed, clearing one of the Annual beds, the entrance and by the raised bed
- We will be working each week for the next month, instead of twice-monthly, in an effort to catch up. As one volunteer said with conviction “We’ll get there”
- The warm sunshine and the active wildlife spurred us on - singing birds, particularly Nuthatches, displaying Buzzards, lots of bees (Common Carder, Buff-tailed, Red Mason plus a female Hairy-footed Flower Bee) and Butterflies - Brimstones, Orange Tip, Green-veined White
- This year we are leaving more areas to long grass with native perennials, like Meadow Cranesbill, Foxgloves, Oxeye Daises, Knapweed, Field Scabious etc. particularly around the perimeter
Next session – Tues 27th April: Planting and seeding as well as more shredding and feeding
Covid restrictions mean the Garden must manage without us until we are able to return hopefully sometime in April.
However during March, a local member has been able to give the garden it’s annual ‘hair cut’ with his scythe, and has also kindly raked off the debris, leaving it ready for us make a start when we can.