Roehampton Garden Society

Should we be planting nettles?

It seems there is a world wide trend to plant more stinging nettles – and not just for soup! In New Zealand nettle cultivation is revitalising their red admiral butterfly population, and in the UK the Woodland Trust urges us to conserve nettle patches – home to several lovely UK butterflies. If you have a small patch of nettles, please consider leaving it alone this summer….

Butterflies on Site 3…
On Sunday last, (9th May) both Albert and myself were treated to a charming Common Blue Butterfly fluttering over both our allotments. Everyone has been telling me about Peacock Butterflies, how they for a few days and were everywhere, then suddenly disappeared. Don’t be sad, they will have mated, laid eggs, and the caterpillars from those eggs will grow over the summer, to enchant us all flying around in August and September.
Small Pearl Fritillarys are now on the wing; several can be seen on site 3. They are about the size of an old half-penny at most. In some of the ponds, damsel flies are now in residence. I’ve yet to see any dragonflies but with the expected hot weather, they will put in an appearance.

Bill Young

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