In this blog, Vivara share their top tips for creating a beautiful base for butterflies in your back garden.
Don’t just plant to look pretty, plant with purpose! We want as many people as possible to turn their green space into a habitat that will help butterflies thrive. But we’re also aware that a lot of first-time gardeners don’t always know where to start. We can help.
Creating a base for butterflies in your own back garden is easy, just stick with us and we’ll show you the ropes with our handy gardening guide.
Step 1 – Where on earth do I start?
Start off with getting to know your garden. It might sound daft, but understanding your lawn layout is really important. If you don’t know your garden, neither will wildlife! Does it face south? Does it face north? Where the sun hits is important when locating where to plant your border, to ensure it’s getting enough sunlight (most plants need around 6 hours daily).
Step 2 – Plan to plant
Planning where you want to plant your border will help you achieve a much prettier look and feel. When you choose what you want to plant, whether you’re planting with our hand-picked butterfly border packs or choosing your own plants that benefit butterflies, draw a small diagram of your border and plot size where you want the plants to go. Our borders measure 3m x 1m.
Step 3 – Where shall the plants go?
We recommend planting any roses, shrubs or mid-sized perennials, such as buddleja, in the centre of your border, and place the taller plants like Iron Hard ‘Lollipop’ (Verbena bonariensis), which is really beneficial to butterflies, around the outside.
Step 4 – Get cracking
Once you’re ready to get stuck in, cut or slice through the grass based on the diagram of your border and begin to lift off the grass with a spade. You want to lift from underneath the roots of the grass and ideally avoid removing more than 5cm of soil. If you’ve already done this then you can skip this step!
Step 5 – Dig time
Remove any of the exposed roots, stones or debris until your soil is clear and with a nice soft crumbly texture. Then you can sprinkle compost over the border and mix it up amongst the soil.
Step 6 – Rake it back
Rake over your border to remove any final remaining bits of debris and level off the ground with the back of the rake.
Step 7 – It’s plant time!
Now you can set out your plants on the ground and refer to your diagram layout to ensure your sticking to the plan!
Step 8 – Water them well
Take your plants out of their pots and water them well before planting, this will put them in the best possible position to bloom when you plant them. If your plants are feeling quite dry and light, soak them in some water for 5 minutes before planting.
Step 9 – Hole in one
Dig a hole for each plant (slightly bigger than their pot size) and place them inside. Then you can cover around the plant with soil to ensure it’s nice and snug!
Step 10 – Taking shape
Repeat this until your border is fully planted up. We recommend adding an insect house or butterfly house for shelter next to your border and to encourage more wildlife to visit for nectar and pollen.
Step 11 – Be proud!
You’ve planted for wildlife, that’s amazing! Relax in your garden and enjoy the sound of wildlife around you - you’ve turned a part of your home into a habitat. Included in Vivara’s Butterfly Border Pack, are selection specially picked to benefit butterflies. This includes; Garden Catmint, White Dwarf Buddleja, Lavender Hidcote, Black-eyed Susan, White Coneflower, Iron Hard 'Lollipop, Limited Edition Butterfly House and Butterfly and Bee Box.
To find out more about Vivara’s Butterfly Border, visit here.