Now the rain has finally stopped and the sun has started to shine, attention is turned to our gardens. Emery Down was a hum of lawn mowers over the weekend. To give wildlife a boost, leave a patch un-mowed. Over the next few weeks you will see natural wildflower popping up like daisies, dog violets which are a good food source for some rare fritillary butterflies, lesser celandines, which are an early source of food for our important pollinators, including hoverflies and bees. Then of course, we have the amazing and very important wildlife supporter.. The Dandelion. Some people still see it as a weed. But seriously.... Look how gorgeous this burst of sunshine is smiling up at you!
This is one of the first food sources for lots of early emerging insects. Pollen beetles (who are only attracted to yellow flowers) And often yellow clothing! sit in the flower feeding on the pollen, they are seen as a pest in rapeseed fields, but in our gardens they are great pollinators. The dandelion is a pleasing sight for early emerging hungry bees. From solitary bees to Bumble bees the dandelion is a great source of energy. Hoverflies and butterflies are also regular visitors. Peacock butterflies, among other species are dandelion feeders which is essential to their survival as they are an early emerging butterfly when other food sources are not so abundant.
By attracting insects, you will start to attract birds and small mammals then suddenly, the garden is starting to come alive just by leaving a small patch of un-mowed grass.
Some bees may need a helping hand if they are emerging hungry and exhausted, I will post how we can help them soon, along with the early emerging butterflies to start looking out for and how we can add our findings to the database to help protect these iconic English garden beauties.
Stay safe my friends 💖