A Butterfly House - What Is Its Purpose?
The above question is asked in the light of the fact that there have been many articles published questioning the effectiveness of a butterfly house.
Wildlife Gardening has certainly become more topical in recent years and rightly so and much credit for this should go to those who have paved the way with their knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm.
Often though things or causes start to become more prominent when there is a commercial benefit linked to it and as with all market led situations there is the really useful item, "it doe's exactly what it says on the can" and there is the not so effective product.
Where does a butterfly box fit into the present
surge of products available to the wildlife gardener?
The idea is to give the butterfly somewhere to shelter especially
over winter and also provide a safe place when needed during
Which is a very good idea and something a wildlife
gardener would want to do where possible.
The fact is that a pile of logs built up to create a miniature
log cabin with a roof on it, a piece of garden shed roof felt
has been suggested, will provide butterflies a very attractive habitat to make use of and most likely far more effectively
than a butterfly box.
Success in attracting butterflies can be helped by putting up
butterfly feeders near the area we are using to plant nectar
rich flowers or bushes.
Various hibernation places can also be set up in the butterfly garden we are creating so helping the butterflies throughout their life cycle.
So butterfly feeders may be a better option than
a butterfly house when used this way.
Here's another question worth asking:
Is the trendy butterfly boutique really for the butterfly?
Focal points in any garden or sections of gardens help to make
it more pleasing to the eye. This is true from a design point of view as well as with planting in mind.
A nicely designed and constructed butterfly house used as
a focal point can help define the area we have set aside with butterflies in mind.
The real work will then be achieved by the plants we have
decided to use to attract butterflies to our garden.
Not to be underestimated is the increased awareness of the importance in helping butterflies that these products achieve
through various marketing campaigns.
When seeing an advertisement for a butterfly boutique
a lot of people will be curious as to what it is.
Who knows, this could lead to them becoming more informed
and then start making changes in their garden space in ways
that help butterflies and other wildlife.
So the butterfly house may have more to do with what we find attractive in the garden rather than the butterflies we want to
inhabit our garden.
And if put in the right place in amongst the right plants, both
for nectar and for laying eggs on, it may just be chosen by a
butterfly to over winter in.
Once again we are best keeping it simple and wherever
possible economical, but if something like a butterfly
house used as a feature to provide a focal point helps make
the area more attractive to our eye then why not put one up?
After all the garden is there for our pleasure as well.