Butterflies are attracted to nectar-rich flowers like verbena, scabious and ice-plant. Go for plants with simple flowers that make it easy for butterflies to get at the nectar. Many cottage garden flowers are suitable. Plant in a sheltered sunny spot and don’t forget to provide food plants for caterpillars, too.
Recommended: primrose, aubretia, sweet rocket, lavender, thyme and thistle
Sweet Peas - Summer thoughts on a winter’s day.
There’s still plenty time to sow a batch of sweet peas between now and April as long as
you do so under cover in a cold frame, cool greenhouse or cold windowsill. Giving their roots plenty depth is essential so why not dig out your toilet
roll and kitchen roll inserts from the recycling and make a head start with
some summer colour?
I sow two or three seeds 1cm deep to each tube filled with seed compost and stacked in plastic Christmas sweetie tubs, like ‘Celebrations’, ‘Quality Street’ etc.
Seedlings need plenty ventilation. Still conditions in a greenhouse or cold frame is a recipe for disaster as you can see in the slideshow below. The thriving seedlings were well ventilated whilst the casualties were air deprived over the festive period and unfortunately didn’t have as good a time as I did!
Remember to pinch out the growing tip after the second pair of leaves have developed to make them bushy and robust. The more shoots there are, the more flowers you’ll have. If you can’t be bothered you can always wait until spring and sow direct into the soil.
a summer show
seedlings not doing well