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Italian Butterfly Garden
How to Attract Italian Butterflies into Italian Gardens
One of the most spectacular sights in Italian gardens has to be the European swallowtail butterfly flitting, effortlessly over lavender, buddleja, valerian or any other nectar-providing flower. This large and beautiful butterfly is a master of the air and glides from flower to flower on its graceful wings, however, its origins are far from graceful although they are equally beautiful and stunning- nonetheless...
The caterpillar of the swallowtail butterfly has striking markings that disguise it well amongst the green foliage of the umbelliferous plants- on which it feasts. A large, fat caterpillar will spend 6 months chomping away on wild carrots, milk parsley and ... fennel- its favored food!
Shown here as a chrysalis...
...and then emerging to fly for the very first time...
Although this big, almost aluminous-green, caterpillar spends a healthy 6 months feasting away on host plants it will survive for around just 1 month as a flying butterfly. In this time it will set about 'filling up' on rocket fuel (plant nectar) and cruising from plant to plant- astounding us all with its poetic beauty and natural grace.By simply dedicating a small area of your Italian garden to host plants, like fennel (in itself a beautiful Mediterranean plant), wild carrot and milk parsley (Peucedanum palustre) you can rest assured that this 'Queen' of the air will appear on our lavender bushes throughout the summer- creating a spectacle second to none!
Contact me for gardening tips...Happy gardening!!