Just when I thought the garden was smelling good with the abundant blossoms of the Honeysuckle, out comes the Buddleia for the beginning of Summer.
Buddleia davidii is to me, the perfume of English summers – along with Petunias and Sweet Peas. I recall seeing on my travels large ‘trees’ of buddleia in and around London. Sometimes even on building sites tucked in a neglected corner. Sometimes well up to a couple of metres in height.
In our garden, with the now limited water despite recent rainfall, the buddleia never gets too out of hand. It is considered a pest in some parts of Australia. Regular pruning keeps it bushy as it delivers its wonderful perfume across the pathway. Previous years it has lived up to its name of The Butterfly Bush and attracted Monarchs and native butterflies into our garden. I have managed to strike a couple of smaller plants from this parent plant just by pruning off new growth with a little old wood and sticking it in the ground. Spring and Autumn seem to be the best months to get some decent success.
I like Buddleia because of its perfume, appearance, it attractiveness to butterflies and the fact that it will grow in relatively poor soils. It also creates lots of woody mulch which is beneficial for the garden and will happily return, sometimes more eager than before, from a harsh pruning back.