Often, we are all too quick to get rid of so called weeds; thistles, nettles, ragworth and so on. They are quickly pulled up or worse still, eliminated with weedkillers. But all these “weeds” are valuable for many forms of wildlife. At the moment thistles in our garden are proving very popular with bees and butterflies alike.
Later, thistle seed will be eaten by birds such as goldfinches. You may have noticed my photograph of tortoiseshell caterpillars eating nettles on a post a couple of weeks ago. And most of our ragworth plants have a couple of cinnabar caterpillars chomping away at the leaves (and flowers!).