(Red Admiral butterfly on a Michaelmas daisy (Aster) – a non-native flower from North America)
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), is launching a new study into wildlife gardening to help unravel the mystery of the effects of native and non-native plants on garden biodiversity. The RHS ‘Plants for Bugs’ project is the first of its kind to study this issue.
Helen Bostock, RHS Gardening Advisor and Plants for Bugs project manager explains, “Currently there is a belief among some gardeners that planting native plants, like Sweet Briar, is better for supporting garden wildlife, than planting their non-native counterparts. Now this may well be true but equally it may not. It’s a complex topic that few have bothered or dared to investigate. By putting different planting combinations to the test we at least want to make a start at answering this question.”
“Ultimately we’d want to produce a guide for gardeners, on the optimum way to help garden wildlife by combining certain plants, both native and non-native, in their gardens.”