Gardens & wildlife

The perfume does it

by Jan Curry from The Round Hill Reporter June 2008

It’s the perfume that does it - attracting garden moths

This time of year, our garden and anyone else’s, if they grow honeysuckles, are heady with perfume - beautiful during the day, breath-taking in dusky twilight.

It's the time of day when sitting in the garden is perfect - it's too late to do things, just relax, breathe deeply and enjoy.

I soon discover I am not alone, frogs and toads rustle through the undergrowth, hopefully I think they are hunting for slugs and snails, to eat.

And then I become aware of numerous moths, different sizes, different colours - more muted than butterflies but lovely just the same. They, like me have been drawn to the perfume that seems to pervade the whole garden. I've read, the average urban garden can attract over one hundred species of moth over the year. What a thought.

They are joined by nameless other midge type creatures. I peer into the fast fading light and realise the garden is just as alive now as it is in the day.

…and then the bats - the only flying mammals. I am not afraid of them but I can understand why some people are. They are so quiet and yet so flittery. They swoop around jerkily in a group, separate, only to reform and appear again, as they patrol the area for food - what food - midges and moths of course.

Bats look like tiny, damp, crinkled leather gloves that have been flung up into the air, I am sorry they move on so quickly - gone - and only the scent of honeysuckle remains. When that too fades, its place will be taken by white flowering jasmine, daintier flowers than honeysuckle but with a perfume just as strong. It really is, the perfume that does it.

By the way, the Garden Moths Count takes place between June 21st and 6th July (in 2008). For current year and further details, see:

Clothes moths ugh, garden moths cheers. The garden moth pollinates flowers and provide larvae for young birds. (A brood of blue tits will consume about 15,000 caterpillars.)

Oh and watch out for the red, black and white daytime flying garden tiger moth. Their numbers have fallen 90% since the 1960's but there are usually a generous number on the Round Hill - waste destructors , felled trees, pesticide sprayed grabbed garden sites and bat attacks, notwithstanding.

Go on, plant a honeysuckle, they're worth it !
This page was last updated by Ted on 10-Nov-2013
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