It was the beginning of spring of this past year that I decided to let our garden become an Ark, and to let everything that wanted to grow be there without interference from me. And it worked, the garden became one large ecological wonder, Thistles, Foxgloves, Nettles, Comfrey, Dandelions, and so many more wild plants seemed to be in competition with each other to produce the most foliage and flowers. Needless to say the garden became a haven for insects and the butterflies were found in abundance too. Everyday I was out there filming and taking photos of all these delightful creatures, too many of which I don’t quite know the proper name of. First time seeing the Orange tip butterfly and also the Meadow Brown. At some point the Leek flowers were visited by several Peacocks, Red Admirals, and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. Besides the ordinary Whites I also had a visit of a Green Veined White, and of course not to forget the Painted Ladies of which there were several this past summer. I had a Meadow Brown which was also a first here in the garden, and of course the yearly Speckled Wood. Such a delight!

At some stage there were numerous Tortoiseshell, Red Admirals and Peacock butterflies on the same plants in a rather smallish area, they seem to love the flowers of the leeks which I had let grow out.
And then there are the Hoverflies and the Bumblebees, and the honey bees, I am afraid that I still have issues with identification, maybe I might have some time during the winter to look over my photos and do some identification, I would love to know more about them all right, and there are good websites to help me.
Several times during the summer I have had to step in to help rescue bees. A little honey later and they fly off again.
This photo shows what was like a little invasion of creatures but my photo is too unclear to identify, it was an amazing happening I thought.

And even though we had such an abundance of creatures in the garden in this past year, I am having to re-think my gardening plan for this coming season 2020, the reason for this is that by now the garden is totally overgrown. I have let it get out of hand and now will find it hard to find space for vegetables, the growth has been so enormous and so I will be planning differently but still with insect life in mind.

Let me know please what you do in this regard, do you just let every wild plant grow where it wants, or do you keep some order in your garden or plot. I would be very interested in learning from your experience my friends. Thank you.


  1. I have a fair amount of wild land on my property, where critters can live without my interference other than an annual mowing in spring. For the gardens near the house, I do weed to maintain the plants I want to flourish. I never use chemicals, of course, but will hand pick beetles and slugs off plants like potatoes and dahlias. I let violets grow in the lawn, but not my gardens. I am selective!

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    1. Thank you for your feedback Eliza, yes like you I don’t use chemical either. It sounds lovely that you have violets growing in your lawn. It is good to be selective, something I will have to apply next season.

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    1. Thank you Derrick, much appreciated and taken note of. Yes I had my doubts about the weevil.
      I think you are right, that it is a good idea to grow particular plants specifically for the bees, or for the butterflies, and in this way helping the dwindling wildlife. I will look for viper’s bugloss, great tip.

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  2. Those are some wonderful insect photos. Some of the bugs look some what familiar and others are very different. I live in a semi tropical climate and have no problems attracting insects and pollinators. I plant for the birds and the bees and the other insects arrive along with the pollinators.

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  3. I grow vegetables in raised beds but let other parts of the garden do more or less what they want. So I get lots of weeds and wildlife, and vegetables. I cut things back when they get so overgrown that you can’t see what was there

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    1. is still evolving. I hadn’t considered wild plants particularly until recently, although they have been slow to come in, anyway. In other words, I haven’t had massive amounts to deal with – and have therefore also possibly missed out on insects as well.
      Most of the plants which seem to attract insects are currently the ones I planted, such as apple, strawberry and phacelia. However, the latter two are now left to their own devices, so in a manner of speaking they have become wild.
      Anyway, I don’t know if what I have said is of any help to you, Agnes. From what I remember of your garden from previous photos, you do have enough space to blend vegetable plots with wilder areas. Maybe take the sunniest areas for the controlled, vegetable areas, as the wild flowers will look after themselves.


      1. Thank you Helen, it is an art isn’t it, and a learning curve, your idea is good, taking the sunniest spot for the vegetables. I planted out some kale today and also a camelia bush, can’t wait to get starting again properly, but planning first – very important and fun!


      2. Unless you are making a permanent structure, I don’t think planning is hugely important, as it’s not possible to be completely in control where the garden is concerned. That said, vegetables need more care than wild plants, don’t they, and have a harder time in shade, on the whole.

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