The best butterfly garden in Europe

The best butterfly garden in Europe

For a while now I have been keeping a list of all the butterfly species I have recorded in my garden - it currently stands at a very pleasing 68 species. Keeping lists is a personal thing, but I have taken so much pleasure from recording these beauties at my home I wanted to share this joy with you. For the last two years the figure has been stuck at 67, then a few days ago a Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell graced my garden for the first time. A species that in the last 50 years has almost disappeared from Bulgaria, though recently it has been noted again in many places. The total number for Bulgaria is 221 species.

It’s a nice garden, about half an acre in size and some 70 km east of Sofia, in the Middle Forest. It is located on a relatively low mountain, in an area not known within Bulgaria for its rich biodiversity. Yet somehow my garden is and is obviously a very special site in an area excellent for butterflies. Nearly all of the species I have recorded so far are seen in very good numbers, with only a very few being seen once or twice; Lattice Brown, Meleager’s Blue, Russian Heath and Black Hairstreak are among many favorites.

Additionally, there are a few more species that occur only about 150 meters from the garden and I look forward to when they visit the garden one day.

I have chatted with a lot of people about this topic, including a few British who have moved from UK to Spain or France to have more butterflies in their gardens. Never once during these discussions was it thought that such a butterfly rich garden existed - I can confirm one does and I am a little honored to live in such a place. Did I mention the 87 species of birds or is that for another time

Stay safe and enjoy life and butterflies