Add a new dimension to your garden displays by not only planting colourful flowers you can enjoy throughout the year, but ones that will bring in the butterflies too. A wide range of bedding plants, perennials, flowering shrubs and bulbs produce the simple, open blooms that butterflies love.
These act like fuelling stations around our gardens for butterflies, moths, bees and other beneficial insects, providing them with the valuable nectar they need to feed on for energy. That’s why the best flowers are often described as nectar plants, and there are hundreds of wonderful plants to choose from to suit virtually any site or soil you have in your garden.
Top four plants to bring in the butterflies:
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii varieties and others)
Including AGM varieties like ‘Nanho Blue’, ‘Royal Red’, ‘White Profusion’ and ‘Harlequin’.
Ice Plant - Sedum (Including Sedum spectabile and Sedum telephinium)
AGM varieties to consider: ‘Brilliant’, Atropurpureum Group, ‘Purple Emperor’, ‘Thundercloud’
Cone Flower (Echinacea) – lots of varieties to choose from
Rudbeckia varieties, including ‘Goldsturm’ and ‘Pot of Gold’
Highly decorative, eye-catching and extremely easy to care for: there’s a lot to be said for succulents such as Echeveria, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Aeonium, Aloe, Haworthia and Rhipsalis. They’re all succulents, which means that they are able to store water in their roots, stems and thick leaves. This enables them to effortlessly cope with dry periods, so a relief for when you go on holiday. Succulents are particulary popular because their unusual, sometimes outrageous shapes, fit perfectly with the current trend to give botanicals a role in shaping the style in interiors.
The range of succulents consists primarily of decorative foliage plants, although it also includes flowering specimens such as Kalanchoe. The plants particularly stand out with their unique shapes: Haworthia and Aloë have a strong primaeval feel, Echeveria is a feast of elegant rosettes, Rhipsalis resembles coral, Sansevieria is proud and indestructible, Crassula is a stylised mini-tree. They mix brilliantly together and are offered both mixed and by type.
Sales and display tips for succulents
Preferably display succulents mixed and together to give them a greater impact. Stones, sand, some palms and a couple of toy dinosaurs can create an adventurous setting for succulents that reinforces their Jurassic Park element. If your target group is slightly more conservative, a Mediterranean patio mood with terracotta bowls, Portuguese tiles and a couple of sizeable agaves will boost sales.
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Thanks to Adam Pasco and the Flower Council of Holland for the information contained in this article.