Photograph of Lavatera, taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens. ISO 400. 1/100 sec. f/8.
I have always grown this nectar-rich feeding station for insects in my garden. There are many varieties of this plant which can be a tree or a shrub, but it is Buddleia davidii which has always been a favourite with gardeners.
Also commonly referred to as the Butterfly- bush, Summer Lilac or Orange Eye, it was originally from China. It was introduced to Britain in the 1800s where it naturalised very rapidly and became invasive. It will grow almost anywhere, including waste ground, railway embankments and roadsides, and I have even seen it growing out of chimney stacks and walls in old buildings where it could potentially cause structural damage.It actually does well on poor soil.
It is a very vigorous plant, and even though I virtually prune and cut mine right down in late winter, the following summer they can grow up to 5m tall with a profusion of lilac blooms on arching branches.The plant readily seeds, and seedlings can be seen popping up in quite a few places, but these can be kept in check with weeding. Deadheading can also reduce the spread of this plant.
Some love this bush, others hate it. But for me it is summertime, and it attracts and feeds a variety of butterflies, bees and other insects throughout the season.
Photograph of Butterfly-bush (Buddleia davidii) taken August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.