The garden in France is allowed to go wild in the summer months. It is as if it becomes another world, a grassy plain becomes a tangled jungle of colour. There are chest high spires of Purple Loosestrife, swathes of golden Fleabane, great creamy platters of Angelica and delicate lilac points of wild Mint. This abundance attracts all manner of interesting wildlife but above all it becomes home to an astonishing array of beautiful butterflies, moths, beetles and other associated ‘bugs’, whose iridescent colours, marvellous patterns and incredible forms are a delight to discover. One can only marvel and be amazed at the processes that have led to such profusion and diversity.
It is absolutely intriguing to research and identify each new find or sighting and it is fascinating to realise how we have been drawn to make comparisons with ourselves or other significant animals in naming the inhabitants of this miniature parallel universe. A short stroll down one of the paths can lead to an encounter with an Emperor, an Admiral or a Spanish Queen, or be charmed by painted ladies or beautiful demoiselles. On the other hand there might be a glimpse of a tiger, a stag, an elephant or even a dragon and there is a good chance to be dazzled by the beauty of a peacock or by the flash of a diminutive hummingbird. This is obviously not just another world but a jungle of our imaginations.
Southern White Admiral
Hummingbird Hawk moth
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar