About the author

Welcome to Butterflies and Gardens.

Lyn and Coburn

Lyn and Coburn

My name is Lyn, and I garden to attract wildlife, especially butterflies and moths,to my cottage garden in Dorset. I am a member of the charity Butterfly Conservation, which works to save butterflies, moths and our environment, and I do a lot of volunteer work with the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation, though this blog reflects my own personal views.

I am concerned about the selfish way we are treating this planet, and the other species with which we share it, and though my garden is an infinitesimal part of the whole, I hope I am helping to redress the balance in a tiny way.

All of our gardens, in Britain, add up to more land than all the nature reserves put together, so if more gardens become wildlife friendly, all our tiny contributions add up to something more powerful. Wildlife adds so much interest to a garden, too, though you must give yourself time to see it – more sightings come from sitting still and letting the wildlife come to you than walking around.

This blog hopes to entertain you with tales from, and photographs of, my garden and its wildlife (and the occasional human) and to show that you can be wildlife friendly without your garden having to look a mess, or be full of stinging nettles. I’m interested in your contributions, too – the more we can all share our learning, the better the results will be.

I will be posting twice a week during the gardening season, less in the winter, and all the photos in the blog, unless otherwise stated, are taken in my garden, sometimes in past years..

Happy wildlife gardening!


18 Comments to “About the author”

  1. There’s a huge amount of information here to help enthusiastic gardeners to encourage our native butterflies and enjoy their company in ‘communion with nature’!

  2. We saw a black pheasant in North Bucks today – outstandingly beautiful. Does anyone know if there are many around?

  3. thank you so much for putting up a blog about your garden. I only started gardening 4 years ago. I find it so difficult to find information on growing wildflowers and the correct flowers for wildlife as opposed to f1 hybrid forms that are everywhere. I’m always trying to encourage the plants that most gardeners want to get rid of and so it’s very difficult to find help on how to grow these plants. I absolutely love the Sweet Rocket in your garden. I realise now that this is the flower that I was seeing everywhere 2 years ago. All along the sides of railway tracks. I had thought that it was White Honesty that I was seeing and as Honesty is one of the few plants that grows well in my garden, I bought some of the White Honesty which smells beautiful but just didn’t look like the flowers I had seen at the side of the railways. But now I’ve seen your pictures I realise that it’s Sweet Rocket that I’m after and I shall endeavour to grow some. It looks stunning as does your lawn covered in daisies. My favourite flower, and one I’ve spent over £30 trying to cultivate in my garden:) I always want the plants that other people consider “weeds”. I will never understand why people don’t like dandielions. For me they’re pretty yellow flowers that brighten up my day. For me they are the flagship natural plant that defies all human efforts to eradicate. It’s nature’s equivalent of putting two fingers up to mankind. People may cover everywhere in concrete slabs and chips but they won’t defeat one of nature’s biggest fighters – the dandielion:)

    • Hi. Sweet rocket is easy to grow from seed, so give it a go – or perhaps go for a plant or two this year and grow some seed which will come on for next year; plants that flower this year will probably self seed. I don’t know how many of my early posts you have had time to look at, but if you go to you will see two sources of info on growing wild flowers that I rate highly.
      Best of luck with the garden – you never stop learning, and that’s what keeps it fun.

  4. Hi Lyn, I was just looking through my seed packets the other day and it turns out I’ve got sweet rocket seeds but I didn’t recognize them as they were under the name Dames Violet! It was only when I was looking at the latin name that it dawned on me that this must be another name for sweet rocket and is perhaps a violet version as opposed to the white one:)

    • Hi again. Your experience shows how useful the latin is, even though many people are shy of it. Personally I think that if a ten-year old can manage the names of dinosaurs, I should be able to manage latin plant names, and it saves so much confusion. There is a purple version of hesperis matronalis as well as the white one: I’m trying to get some going in my garden at the moment. Another purple flower that looks much the same is honesty – I didn’t have much success with this until I discovered lunaria annua ‘Corfu Blue’, which does well and self seeds, so it keeps going.
      Happy growing!

  5. Thank you Lyn for posting your blog. I love to read about your country garden and see your gorgeous photos. I
    have an urban 20 ft by 20 ft garden (hard landscaped) on a new development not that far from you (Poundbury) so looking at your blog informs me of what is going on in the countryside around me!


    • Hi Nicky. I thought I’d done a reply to this – my brain must be addled by all this sunshine! Thank you for you comment – it’s good to get encouragement. I hope you are managing some butterfly-friendly bits in pots in your garden.

      Best wishes – Lyn

  6. Great blog Lyn. I’m based in Dorset too. We are so lucky down here, aren’t we. Mike

    • Hi Mike. Thanks. Glad your potted buddleias are drawing in the butterflies. You are right, we are very lucky in Dorset – we’ve got such a variety of habitats that lots of butterfly species can find a home. Hope you are recording the butterflies you see – if not, please think about doing so: see http://www.dorsetbutterflies.com. This is year four of a five-year recording cycle, so records are badly needed.

  7. Found you blog whilst looking for some inspiration for a talk I’m doing on Wednesday about Biodiversity and Gardens. Definitely inspired and definitely my kind of garden. Thanks Alison – Dundee

    • Thanks, Alison. Glad to hear you are flying the flag for wildlife in gardens. I’ve just read a couple of mainstream gardening magazines, and I’m depressed at how they see “gardening for wildlife” as something they cover in one article, while in others advising all sorts of wildlife unfriendly practices – cutting down herbaceous perennials in autumn, clearing up leaf litter and, horror of horrors, using weedkillers. Grrr!

  8. I’ve noticed it too and I’m going to put in a letter to 2 of them as I think another side needs to be heard.

  9. Congradulations! I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Here is a link to my post for you to accept the award:http://thebelmontrooster.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/my-very-inspiring-blogger-award/.

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