COLUMN: Garden comes alive in summer months

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Tomorrow marks the start of July – the month of high summer when the garden comes alive during hot lazy afternoons.

People are met with the sound of bees buzzing and the sight of fluttering butterflies, gathering pollen from all the plants that you have lovingly nurtured and cared for that are now in full flower and act like fuelling stations for pollinating insects.

Butterflies, moths and bees feed on plant nectar which is why the best flowers for attracting them are often described as nectar plants. One of the most popular is the Buddleja, also known as the Butterfly Bush – a hardy and reliable shrub whose flowers act like magnets for butterflies. Many strong-growing varieties are available, including one with variegated foliage called ‘Harlequin’, but they can be kept under control by some prudent pruning each spring.

Several dwarf and compact varieties of Butterfly Bush are now available that are perfect for pots or tiny spaces, with flowers in colours from pink and white to blue, lavender, magenta and deep purple.

In fact pots are a great way to make patios a riot of colour during the summer months - which can be extended through to the winter and spring with bulbs and bedding plants. Just remember, the more containers you have, the more watering you will have to do during hot periods – but it’s definitely worth it.