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How to make a bee and butterfly garden

Dream of having a bee and butterfly garden? Make it come true with our tips on how to attract them.


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If the buzz of bees and flutter of butterfly wings have seemed a little quieter in your garden recently, you shouldn’t be too surprised. The numbers of these little creatures are dwindling around the world, leaving our gardens empty of them. But, if you want to help fight back against their falling numbers, why not make a bee and butterfly garden? Check out these tips and create your own.

To create a bee and butterfly garden, don’t worry about keeping it perfect - let everything grow naturally wild and you’ll see better results!

Plants that attract butterflies

There are plenty of plants for butterflies and flowers for butterflies that you can include in your garden to help them thrive. Here are just a few that you can add:

  • Wild Peach

  • Salvias

  • Wild Dagga

  • Geraniums

  • Cape Leadwort

  • Lavender

  • Cape Honeysuckle

  • Butterfly Bush

  • Honey Bell Bush

Planting flowers that attract butterflies will help encourage them to flock to your garden, creating a beautiful scene and helping with their conservation.

Plants that attract bees

Just as with butterflies, there are a lot of plants, trees, and flowers for bees that you can grow to help attract them into your space. Check out these to find the styles that will suit your garden:

  • Sweet Thorn Tree

  • Bush Willows

  • Cape Violets

  • Aloes

  • Euryops Daisy

  • Felicia

  • Butterfly Bush

  • Lion’s Ear

  • Cape Honeysuckle

  • Forget-Me-Not

  • Iris

  • Salvia

  • Sunflower

Mix up the types of plants you grow all year long to keep your garden in full bloom and offer plenty of variety for the local bees.

Stop using pesticides

Pesticides are a sure way of keeping bees and butterflies out of your garden, so avoid them at all costs! These chemicals can be a huge threat to your bee garden or butterfly garden and can be toxic to the creatures coming in. If you’re friendly with your neighbours, try asking them to ditch pesticides too and you should see the bees and butterflies start to return.

Once you start growing plants that attract bees and butterflies and making your garden more insect-friendly, you’ll be helping these little creatures to flourish. Our planet won’t survive without them, so it's vital we do everything we can to help them stick around! Let your garden grow wild with these beautiful plants, trees, and flowers, and you’ll be doing your bit for our world.

  • Use timber planks to create a square box (20cm deep minimum) with two open vertical sides and a hinged top that can open and close.

  • Fill it with blocks of wood and drill holes in them, varying the holes in size for different bees (between 2mm and 10mm).

  • Place it in direct sunlight and without any plants obstructing it.

Originally published