|Fennel with common red soldier beetles.|
|Drone fly on marjoram.|
|Leaf-cutter bee, on a teasel flower.|
In third place, teasel, which attracts an enormous variety of bees. The bee shown is a leaf cutter bee - and I've found an enchanter's nightshade with carefully worked holes in its leaves showing that the bee I photographed, or one like it, made a nest here.
|Small Tortoiseshell taken shortly before the end of June.|
In fourth position, verbena bonariensis. This, tall gawky plant is a real hit with butterflies. Many have posed for me on its flowers.
|Harvestman on our Sunshine dahlia|
Finally, in fifth place we have our dahlia, which is enjoyed by a variety of mini-beasts including delicate harvestmen. The remarkable thing about this flower is that it managed to come fifth in spite of there being only one plant.
Given that I have carefully planted and nurtured many wild flowers in the garden, I was surprised that only one of the top five, the teasel, was a native plant. The others are all cultivated varieties, or of foreign extraction. However we have chosen the cultivated plants for their colour over a long period, so maybe they have a staying power that our natives have not. My belief is that native species are important in the early parts of creatures' lives when they have precise food requirements. Later, any nectar will do. The other surprise was that the traditional butterfly plant, the buddleia, had barely any visitors. It seems that our butterflies prefer the verbena bonariensis.
So, just a couple of months on from the bioblitz, I am learning more about the insects that visit our garden and their relationship with our plants.