Butterflies love a garden just like this

Comma butterfly on a buddleia. Pictures: John Bardet

Red Admiral on a buddleia

Small Tortoise-shell on Inula hookerii

Honey Bee on Scabious

Honey Bee on Geranium ‘Roseanne’

John Bardet

First published in Features
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Retired naturalist and horticulturalist John Bardet has planted his York garden to attract butterflies and a wealth of insect life.

IT may seem as though summer has come to an end unexpectedly early, what with the cool, uncertain weather of recent days.

We're still in August, however – and provided we get a few more sunny spells there should still be plenty of time to see butterflies such as these in your garden.

Retired naturalist and horticulturalist John Bardet has planted a host of late-flowering plants, such as buddleia, inula (with its yellow, daisy-like flowerheads) and sedum in his garden in Copmanthorpe.

So even at this time of year he's blessed with a wealth of insect life at his back door – especially the butterflies he loves so much.

All these photographs were taken in John's garden during the past month. And provided we get some sunny spells, the insects should still be around for a few weeks yet.

If you want to ensure your garden is filled with butterflies and other insects in September, the key is to plant a mix of late-flowering native plants, John says – together with a few stinging nettles, perhaps.

"I know they are not very attractive, but they are useful to butterflies, which lay their eggs in them."

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