Last week, I managed to spend a little time enjoying my garden (I hope you managed some time too) and probably for the first time in years I noticed seven or eight butterflies in the garden. To my surprise, I sat for half an hour just watching them, and it was so interesting and enjoyable, seeing them fly from plant to plant, and in some cases just sit leisurely on a plant with the sun on its back, showing off its beauty.

I noticed they were particularly attracted to my red Antirrhinums – I had always thought pollinators couldn’t see red and therefore avoided the colour, but watching the butterflies I knew I had my facts wrong and, on checking, discovered that not seeing red is true of bees, but not of butterflies. I was also reminded that, unlike bees, butterflies are attracted to the fragrance of a flower as well.

Native plants are always the best for pollinators, so a cottage garden is like Center Parcs for butterflies (and bees), with plants like cosmos, hollyhocks, foxgloves, phlox and delphiniums all perfect to attract them to your garden.

Other plants you may consider planting include: dahlias, buddleia, verbena, hebes, lavender and aubretia.

Butterflies need to land on the flower as they use their feet to feed – so perhaps including some flowers with large petals, or should I say landing pads, may be a good idea.

If you have seen some beautiful butterflies in your garden let me know what plants they seem attracted to. Happy gardening!

Plant of the week: Dwarf Buddleia ‘Buzz’

This is a new profusely flowering variety of Dwarf Buddleia which produces big flowers on compact stems. It loves full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil conditions – and because it’s a dwarf variety it will do just as well in patio pots, making it an ideal choice for a small garden.

It has a beautiful sweet scent and butterflies love it – helping to make your garden bee and butterfly friendly.

:: Colin has been working in the gardening industry for over 30 years and owns 7 Garden Centres across central Scotland and is passionate about Scottish plants.