Lavender Love and Pretty Pollinators

The lavender has been glorious this summer, flowering just after our heavy rain earlier in the month and with very little rain since.

The dry and hot weather suits these shrubs best. And I am not alone in admiring them either… here are a few of the visitors to my garden who love lavender too…

Vanessa cardui – Painted Lady

Inachis io – Peacock Butterfly

Ochlodes sylvanus – Large skipper

Pieris brassicae – Large cabbage white

Polygonia c-album – Comma

Melanargia galathea – Marbled white

Argynnis paphia – Silver-washed fritillary

Gonepteryx rhamni – Common brimstone

Macroglossum stellatarum – Hummingbird hawk-moth

Bee πŸ™‚

Here is the long view of the south-facing rockery – some of these lavender shrubs are ten years old or more and have been cut down hard at some stage. I try and stagger the cutting back, so that I have plenty of shrubs flowering well every year. The white ones will be cut back this autumn and next spring. Others are cuttings or self-seeded plants.

Do you see any of these pollinators in your garden? And if you grow lavender, what visits it most frequently?

Here is a slideshow of these beautiful creatures. πŸ˜€

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Summer!

67 thoughts on “Lavender Love and Pretty Pollinators

    • Ah, yes. The winter solstice for you then. Hope it’s not too cold. We are getting a dip in our summer temperatures tomorrow according to forecasts, so I shall enjoy that! πŸ˜‰

        • πŸ™‚ We are enjoying a cool 12Β°C thus morning, but it is going up into the thirties next week! I hope you get some sunshine – grey winter days are not so nice.

  1. What a wonderful collection of visitors, Cathy. We don’t see anywhere near this variety. And you do so well with your lavender. Mine never seems to last more than a year before it becomes misshapen and woody. It must be my bad pruning.

    • I cut all of mine back after flowering – as far as I can without spoiling the look. And then they all get trimmed down by about another half in autumn, while some get cut right down to the base and usually rejuvenate well. The secret is good drainage I think. And sunshine! πŸ™‚

  2. I am having a bad case of Lavender Envy. I have tried and tried to grow this luscious plant to no avail. I love seeing all of your butterflies and moths.

  3. These are so beautiful, Cathy. We get Painted Ladies, Peacock, Red Admiral, Cabbage Whites, Brimstones and a few different blues and brown things I don’t know the name of! It is my mission to improve my pollinator knowledge!

    • I find it hard to remember all the names too, but usually know either in English or German and just need to translate it! I have a very good butterfly and moth guide book which I find is so much quicker than searching on the internet too. πŸ™‚

  4. Bees, butterflies, and blooms. What could be better? Especially if a peacock butterfly is involved. We don’t have them in Maine, and I am besotted by them.

    • They are one of the most common here, and this must be the second generation as the first ones appear right after winter after overwintering. They are certainly one of my favourites too. πŸ™‚

  5. Cathy, your lavenders I love are beautiful. I also have lavenders but they are old and because of the cold that has made the flower spikes are about to open when from the beginning of May they should be open. Sorry, I’m lost. What wonderful visitors you have to your lavenders I love them all. And how do you know all their names? You are fantastic!!! All butterflies I like very much, I can not choose any as a favorite. They are all favorites. And the bee is lovely. Here there are no butterflies, I suppose it is because of the cold, although there are usually not many; yes there are nocturnal moths. Happy summer!! We are at 30ΒΊ Centrigrades and sun without a cloud or wind. The temperatures rise for the weekend. That you do not pass heat and if a good weekend. πŸ™‚ Greetings from Margarita.

    • Ooh, nice and warm then now! I must confess to checking lots of the names – some I know in English but others only in German. I have a good butterfly book though. πŸ˜‰ We usually have the so-called ‘butterfly gap’ in June, when there are fewer around in between generations. But this year the weather has kept them coming all month so far! Enjoy your summery weekend Margarita!

      • Cathy, so you’ve worked with your book knowing the name of each butterfly. You are a scholar! Wonderful!!!!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for showing me the name of the butterflies. Have a good week. Greetings from Margarita.

  6. My goodness but you have some lovely visitors to your lavender, Cathy! I love the variety of butterflies and moths. I have quite a lot of lavender, and primarily it attracts bees. Sometimes I catch a butterfly or even a hummingbird at the stems, but not often. Lots of bees, though! And it is such a rewarding plant in our dry climate. Something lovely and delicate that doesn’t immediately wilt is a real bonus. πŸ™‚

    • I have had more butterflies than bees on the lavender this year so far. But my Perovskia (Russian sage) is about to open and the bees love that. Yes, lavender does well in a dry climate – hope you get plenty more visitors to yours! πŸ™‚

  7. There have been masses of butterflies on my lavender too. I’m growing several different lavenders now which extends the flowering period considerably. Some flower for so long it is difficult to know when to prune them.

    • That is a good idea, and I suppose you are able to keep several different sorts through the winter which might not be so hardy here. My Mum has managed to keep L. stoechas for several year which isn’t possible here. Perhaps you can post about yours one day? πŸ™‚

      • Yes, you’re probably right about them not all being hardy, some of mine were hit by the icy wind but I don’t think any died. Good idea about a post, thank you.

  8. What is that lavender? It looks like an English lavender. I am not familiar with most of the newer cultivars. Spanish lavenders are the most popular here because they naturalize. There are no cultivars, but there do happen to be variations of color. I am sorry that I pay more attention to the lavenders than to the butterflies that visit them. Cabbage white butterflies are sometimes seen, but are not very common here like they are on the coast. I think that the skippers are quite small here. The most common butterfly is the monarch butterfly, which resembles the painted lady in color.

    • Yes, L. angustifolia. Much of it was given me and the white and pale pink ones were added. I can’t remember the names of them though! I can’t keep Spanish lavender through the cold damp winters here. Cabbage whites are the most common butterflies here. We don’t have Monarchs of course, but we do have many many more beauties which visit fleetingly.

  9. Your richly colored lavenders are beautiful and I love all the butterflies, especially the Peacock. My lavender is performing better than last year and I’m planning to mix up a batch of your lavender ice cream!

  10. So gorgeous – I adore the fragrance of lavender! There are only a couple of cultivars we can grow here and our winters are so crazy that even the hardy ones don’t always survive. It’s really hit or miss.

  11. It’s lovely seeing your lavender and butterflies, Cathy! We have many of the same butterflies, though not the peacocks (which I would love to see). My lavender is usually busy with bees whether or not there are any butterflies around. The latter are more seasonal here, while the bees are always about to one degree or another. πŸ™‚
    That is good information about trimming the lavender. I must get my courage up as I’m sure my plants would be much the better for it. I’ve thought of replacing as I wasn’t sure how much hacking into they would stand. But I’d always prefer to salvage an established plant!

    • My lavender has now gone over Amy… we have had such hot dry and windy weather! It will be sad to cut them but they do look a bit messy at the moment. The butterflies are moving over to the buddleia. πŸ™‚ Yes, do try cutting down the lavender – always worth the risk to salvage them!

    • With the help of a very useful butterfly book! πŸ˜‰ Many of them are only around for a few weeks, and by next year I will probably have forgotten the names again, so posting about them is a real help for my memory!

    • There were a couple of others too which I couldn’t photograph as they are so fast! It has been a good year for them – they seem to like hot dry weather.

  12. Love your dancing butterflies, Cathy, so well caught! We’re enjoying ours as they attract so many bees and butterflies. I hope you didn’t plant your shrubs this spring as it’ll be all the harder to get them through the summer. No matter how much we water it’ll never match a proper rain. We’ve had a little rain, about 8l, but when the soil is so dry that’s not not much. I hope you’ll get a good rain soon. Enjoy your summer and the new project/house. xx

    • Hi Annette. Yes, the shrubs and trees were planted (‘professionally’ LOL!) in April – we lost so much time last year with a very dry spring and then one thing or another but have been unlucky again this year with extreme dry spells again. We have learnt not to listen to ‘experts’ who just want to fill their order books and make money. Sigh! The next two weeks will be hard with temperatures in the 30s, but my Man of Many Talents has developed an ingenious night-time watering technique involving a fire hydrant, fireman’s hose, and an ATV with trailer, water tank and pump… πŸ™‚

  13. Breathtaking! I’m not sure there has ever been a better gift to those of us mucking about on this planet than a patch full of lavender. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hope that all is well Cathy and that your quietness is just down to summer πŸ™‚ I imagine that it might be too hot for you to want to do much but hopefully you are enjoying the lavender along with all your beautiful butterflies.

    • Thank you Anna. I’m fine. We have moved to our country house, I have had visitors, and now the heat is appalling, but hope to be back blogging soon! Have a lovely August! πŸ™‚

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