With the lovely weather in Shropshire over the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing an increase in the number of butterflies in the wildflower meadow. The meadow is a bit more wild than flower at the moment. However, this means there are lots of nettles for the butterflies to lay eggs on and for the caterpillars so eat.
I’m always excited to see the first painted butterfly of the year. The painted lady is actually a long distance migrant to the UK. You can read a bit more about it here.
If you live in the Midlands area and watch Midlands Today, the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed one of my photos of our wildflowers appearing on the weather forecast a couple of weeks ago.
The wildflower meadow has been looking particularly amazing this year. We’ve had masses of the white ox eye daisies and now the beautiful purple knapweed is taking over. Needless to say we aren’t short of bees!
It’s getting to the time of year when we have to start thinking about scything the meadow and cutting back the wildflowers. Cutting it back encourages more flower growth but also means we have fewer flowerheads for the birds. I’ve spotted bullfinches feeding there already this year.
Our solution is to cut back a couple of quarters of the meadow and leave the other half of the wildflowers till later in the year.
Bed and Breakfast Shropshire, B&B near Ludlow and Hopton Castle