Q &A







Can I grow an elderberry (Sambuccus nigra) from cuttings? Yes, they will even root in water, or you could possibly dig up a sucker from the base of a plant. Named varieties can also be found in some garden centres. Elderberries are tough and adaptable, preferring cold winters and poor soils. A sunny, dry-ish position is best, and though plants can grow up to 5m tall and wide, they are easily trimmed to shape in winter. Both flowers and berries are edible, and have been used for medicinal purposes since way back. Can you suggest plants that attract butterflies to the garden? Swan plants and related species bring in the Monarchs; stinging nettles (including ongaonga, our native tree nettle) are hosts to Red and Yellow Admirals; Blue butterflies like legumes (eg peas, sweet peas and lupins); while Coppers favour our five native muehlenbeckia as host plants. Once butterflies hatch they need plants supplying nectar: these include alyssum, buddleia, cineraria (which also appeals to Magpie moths), clovers, daisies, hebe, heliotrope, lacebark, lilac, lavender, monarda (Bee Balm) and zinnias, plus buttercups and dandelions. If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@icloud.com