We think of birds to bring colour, movement and interest to the garden.
Butterflies are another group of airborne organisms that will also bring these qualities to your domestic landscape.
Welcome these varied and colourful insects to the garden by using suitable native plants.
Butterflies are attracted to colourful massed garden beds.
Blue, yellow and red blooms are particularly attractive to butterflies.
Flower shape is important. Simple flat flowers provide a convenient spot for butterflies to touch down and extract nectar. Tubular, nectar rich flowers are also sought after.
Butterflies are able to unfurl their proboscises and access the sweet reward at the base of the flower.
Of course before we have butterflies there are the leaf-eating caterpillars.
Surely a few chewed leaves is a small price to pay for the presence of butterflies in the garden.
Firstly we will describe a couple of everlasting daisies that attract butterflies.
Xerochrysum "Dargan Hill Monarch" is a cultivar that has been known to gardeners for about 60 years.
"Dargan Hill Monarch" is a low growing, rounded shrub with soft, grey, woolly foliage. The outstanding, daisy-type flowers are up to 90mm in diameter and carried on long stems above the foliage. Flowering extends from spring to autumn.
Xerochrysum "Cockatoo" is similar in appearance with mounded growth habit and grey foliage. The dazzling flowers are 70mm in diameter the petals are light lemon yellow whilst the centre disc is golden yellow. This is a pleasing combination that butterflies find attractive.
This cultivar also has an extended flowering period that stretches from spring to autumn.
"Dargan Hill Monarch" and "Cockatoo" could be grown together in a garden bed. They would have great visual impact and attract a range of butterflies.
With both cultivars remove the spent blooms to prolong flowering.
The Eremophilas or Emu Bushes, with their tubular, nectar-rich flowers are magnets for butterflies.
Eremophila polyclada, the Twiggy Emu Bush, is a tall, spreading shrub with narrow, light green leaves.
The large flowers may be up to three centimetres in diameter. They are white or purplish white with brownish spots.
The main flowering period extends from September to May but plants may carry some blooms at other times.
Flowers that have a wide opening allow butterflies and other insect's easy access to the nectar.
It is thought that the pattern of spots is a signal to insects that there is a reward waiting at the base of the tube.
Pandorea "Ruby Belle" is a form of Wonga Wonga Vine. This fast growing climber produces masses of deep red, tubular blooms with white throats in spring and winter.
The flowers attract wide range of insects including butterflies. Pinch out the growing tips tpo thicken up the vine.
"Ruby Belle" could be grown on a trellis to create a dense screen.
With 400 species of butterflies in Australia you are sure to attract some with suitable planting.