Gardens - a hiddentreasure trove

2016-05-18 06:00

WHEN looking at a garden most people are impressed by bright flowers and stately trees, but never look beyond to observe and appreciate the wonders that lie in hidden recesses or aloft. In an inspiring presentation to a well-attended meeting of Umvoti Garden Club members and guests last Tuesday, local butterfly and moth expert, Kevin Cockburn, encouraged gardeners to “view gardens with new eyes” to become aware of the abundance­ of fascinating and beautiful­ creatures that share our gardens.
The subject of butterflies and moths is intriguing with the enchanting­ metamorphosis from voraciously feeding, spiny larva to beautiful, airborne, winged adult appearing almost magical.
Kevin’s passion for his subject, combined with his artistic bent and patient hours spent photographing butterflies and moths through their entire life cycle, provided a visual feast to support his vast knowledge of these interesting creatures.

The extensive subject of lepidoptera is such that some people spend a lifetime studying these creatures, their habits and their specific needs for survival.
However, in the limited time available­ for his presentation, Kevin managed to open a window into this fascinating world, offering a tantalising­ view of a far greater subject.
He encouraged all who attended the meeting to become more aware of the various butterflies and moths, to encourage their presence by providing suitable food plants and avoid the use of toxic insecticides.

With the approach of winter the garden chores of planting, mowing and weeding slow down giving gardeners time to reflect and plan for the new season.
Why not spend time planning the inclusion of specific butterfly larval host plants or adult food plants into your spring planting programme.

- J. Cowie.

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