Two Easy-Care Shrubs for Attracting Wildlife

A butterfly on a pink butterfly bush flower.

The nectar of buddeias calls loudly to butterflies in August, a lovely sight.

Birds, bees and butterflies are a welcome addition to any garden, and herbaceous perennials and annuals aren’t the only way to attract them. Shrubs do the job in a super easy care way, and benefit your garden by giving it structure and winter interest.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) is a butterfly magnet, and flowers in August, when many other garden plants do not. They come in colours from white, blue, purple to deep violet. They should be in everyone’s garden. You can buy tall or dwarf varieties, like “Blue Chip” and “Buzz.”


The native Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius, with flowers changing into berries, a feast for the birds.

Physocarpus, or Ninebark is a fantastic shrub with many varieties, including a native that is one of the most undemanding plants you could ever find. Shade or sun, wet or dry, it will perform for you. With white flowers full of nectar in early summer, they are loved by bees, butterflies and other wildlife. The flowers follow up with berries that feed birds like finches, wrens, and chickadees. A yellow version, “Nugget”,  makes a great statement in partial shade, lighting up the area with a lime-yellow hue. Ninebark “Diablo” has deep bronze leaves that adds drama to the landscape. The branches of “Diablo” make stunning indoor arrangements when the berries have formed in late summer. The peeling bark of the branches provides winter interest as well. All the ninebarks are vigorous growers and a welcome addition to any garden landscape.

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