IN A FLUTTER: Chelsea loves the idea of having butterflies in her garden.
IN A FLUTTER: Chelsea loves the idea of having butterflies in her garden. Contributed

Attract beauty to a garden

AS MUCH as I hate caterpillars munching away on my plants I loathe squishing them. Why? The very hungry caterpillar book of course. How can one squish a big fat caterpillar when it may one day form a cocoon and transform into a beautiful butterfly! I know most caterpillars that we see in the garden usually use my juicy green leaves to turn into big moths but I would hate to one day squish a caterpillar that does turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Don't worry though I haven't gone completely soft - to overcome this sense of pointless destruction and to keep my hands clean I usually use a pyrethrum base spray like Searles Bug Beater to kill the little green eating machines!

I do love the idea of having butterflies in my garden, which is why I have to plant Buddlejas and a Melicope rubra.

Buddlejas are loved all over the world for their elegant, fragrant blooms, produced in profusion most of the year, and their ability to withstand a wide variety of conditions. Buddlejas are commonly called the butterfly bush as they attract butterflies as well as small birds and insects creating a haven for all things small and beautiful in your garden.

However, the original Buddlejas are can grow quite large and have a rangy habit. Unless they are constantly trimmed they are a challenge to incorporate into smaller gardens or pots.

Recently a new Buddleja was released - Buddleja BUZZ. This series of Buddlejas come in a range of colours - White, Purple and Blue and only grow to about 1m by 1m. This makes them perfect for pots or small gardens. The can be grown in full sun or part shade and can tolerate light frosts.

The Buddleja BUZZ range performs better if it given a small haircut after each flowering. Use excellent quality potting mix if planting in pots or excellent quality garden soil if planting in the garden. Mulch well and fertilise every season with Organic Link fertiliser. Try to liquid fertilise once a fortnight with Triple Boost to prolong flowering while keeping the plant looking healthy.

Another plant that will attract butterflies, the Ulysses butterfly in particular is the Melicope rubra or commonly known as Little Evodia or Euodia Muller.

The Melicope rubra is a small growing Australian native tree. Its foliage is strongly scented, with a hint of nutmeg and has clusters of bright pink flowers that occur along the branches during spring and summer. It's these flowers that attract the butterflies. Birds such as lorikeets and honey-eaters are also attracted to this tree.

This native only grows to around 4m high and is endorsed by Ergon Energy and Greening Australia in their Plant Smart program - helping the community choose the right plants for planting near or under power lines.

The Melicope rubra likes full sun or part shade and is a great feature tree for any garden. It should be mulched well and fertilised every season with Organic Link. A liquid fertilise once a fortnight with Triple Boost in its establishment period would be beneficial as well.

This weekend attract some butterflies not caterpillars.



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