I began the Butterfly Conservation Garden Butterfly Survey at the end of March, so I have just completed my first month. Habitat, of course, is very important in terms of attracting wildlife. Our Suffolk garden faces east (meaning a fair bit of shadow in the second half of the day) and has sandy soil. It is probably 'average+' in terms of size for a suburban plot. We grow wild flowers from seed (poppy and cornflower). We also sow nasturtium seeds. We have a silver birch tree, a holly, two small hawthorns, a couple of acers and a conifer. Shrubs around the edge include buddleia, laurel, weigela, hydrangea, viburnham and spirea. We have left almost all the grass unmown (I have a little labyrinthine path through it, but otherwise it is as nature intended), and we allow nettles and a bit of bramble.
Obviously I am not out butterfly-spotting in the garden 24/7, but I would have hoped to have seen a Red Admiral by now. We rarely see Small Tortoiseshells here, but it is always a joy when they visit. I wonder what butterflies you are seeing, and what new species I will be able to list in May. It's certainly an enjoyable lockdown activity, not only because the arrival of each butterfly is a cause for celebration, but because everyone's records in this particular survey will help Butterfly Conservation with their invaluable work to ensure that butterflies are a feature of the nation's gardens for years to come.
P.S. Please join me on my new lockdown poetry venture here. I would love to receive your Peacock butterfly-inspired five-liners whether you are an experienced poet or simply prepared to have a go at something new! This first submission window closes on 13th May.