Life’s great up here in the tropics for the brilliant blue Ulysses Butterfly and the massive Cairns Birdwing butterfly because locals go out of their way to grow their host plants in the hope of attracting them to their garden. But what about the other 238 species of butterflies that occur in tropical North Queensland, let alone the tens of thousands of insect species which also call this place home? They may not be as iconic, but I think they deserve a little more attention too.
Being told you should plant natives sounds a lot like you’re being told to give up junk food and switch to brussels sprouts and bran. It makes you feel like you’ll be going on a garden diet. Lush green foliage and the pretty flowers will be a thing of the past. There will be no more planting of self indulgent cordylines, hibiscus, gardenias or gingers. You’re now restricted to a gardening diet of gumtrees, paperbarks, grasstrees, and if you’re good, a grevillea or two. And you’ll have to tear up your lush green lawn so you can replace it with a nice deep layer of bush mulch with a couple of clumps of prickly Spinifex and a mandatory frog pond.