Saving butterflies - a living garden laboratory

Saving butterflies and other small creatures by bringing nature home  --

I need your help to be able to help nature lovers and gardeners, people who are concerned and overwhelmed, to start with simple actions in their own spaces and places, that will give joy and make a big difference helping local native butterflies, bees and many others so that our actions together will help re-create healthy environments for our future.

Few of us know how 95% of all the named animal lifeforms are creatures that don’t have backbones (collectively known as invertebrates), and in the order of 67% of these are insects. While we have more or less named all the creatures that do have backbones (known as vertebrates) - about 72,500 species - only 1.5M invertebrates have been named, and we really don't know how many invertebrates there really are. Also, sadly, that there are increasingly serious reports about how we’re rapidly losing these precious creatures and all that depend on them. 

If you agree with this message, please support me financially to spread it:
Grow local native plant species for local native butterflies, bees and many other creatures, then experience the delight of seeing the results, and go tell others: Butterflies and most small plant-eating creatures need their own special local native plants to be able to live, and very few eat our food crops.

I’m fascinated by life on Earth in all its amazing and magnificent forms and how each and every species interacts with and depends on the others within the communities and ecosystems they evolved and live in.

I've raised just shy of 50 species of butterflies in my own small, inner- Brisbane garden, and raised some 75 species in total. This is the result of 30+ years experience supporting butterfly and nature-friendly gardening.  Through and writing, speaking and consulting, I help people transform their local spaces and places, so that we, our children and our children’s children can thrive in a nature-rich, sustainable and healthy world.

My goal here is to share joy, delight and hope with you by helping you discover what's possible. To be able to effectively demonstrate these outcomes please support me to keep my property and its 30+-year-old butterfly and wildlife mini-jungle garden as a place for learning, along with the other community education work I undertake.

The work you will be supporting includes:
-- making the books I've published through  Earthling Enterprises available:  Create More Butterflies Australian Stingless Bees and, since mid-October 2020,  Inviting Nature to Dinner
-- offering community education presentations and workshops,
see my flyer  

Support my project (please supply your shipping address) and receive:
$25 -  4 Butterfly Lives gift cards
$50 -  10 gift cards
$75 -  10 gift cards and a copy of either Create More Butterflies or Australian Stingless Bees or Inviting Nature to Dinner 
$100 -  a private garden visit (in person or virtual) plus either Create More Butterflies or Australian Stingless Bees or Inviting Nature to Dinner 
$150 -  a private garden visit (in person or virtual) plus 2 out of 3 of Earthling Enterprises" books: Create More Butterflies or Australian Stingless Bees or Inviting Nature to Dinner
$200 -  a private garden visit for two people (in person or virtual): yourself and a friend, plus a copy of Create More Butterflies each, or one of the other books
$500 -  all of the above plus 5 Butterfly Lives laminated A3 prints (of your choice)
$1,000 - all of the above: 10 gift cards, garden visit (in person or virtual) for up to 4 people (all at the same time), plus all three books and 10 Butterfly Lives  laminated A3 prints (of your choice)
and my deep appreciation.

*Special thanks to past Donors: With your help, I was able to complete "Inviting Nature to Dinner: the benefits of bringing biodiversity to our backyards". This is a book on integrating local native plant species with food plants to enhance biodiversity and support your crops. The book's cover:

Forthcoming publications and other projects are: 
– developing an international online course based on my garden as an example of “how-to” do butterfly and wildlife-friendly gardening
– a series of other books including children’s books on engaging with nature.
– a folio of Butterfly Lives photo montage prints being developed

Some further background to my work:
Since 1986, I've raised seventy-five species of butterflies through their whole lifecycles, along with many other creatures, on their specific host plant species. See Butterfly Lives for a sample of the outcome of this work. 

I've achieved this by planting mainly native plant species from the SEQ region. Forty-six of the seventy-five species were raised in my garden. Before social media was a thing, in 1994 I established the Butterfly & Other Invertebrates* Club and was the founding President for 12 years. From 2003, for sixteen years, I've worked voluntarily with the Woodford Folk Festival, enriching the plantings at the festival site for butterflies and other small creatures, and enhancing biodiversity.

Please connect with me through my
Earthling Enterprises email list 
- I promise to only send occasional emails
Facebook pages: Bring Back our Butterflies (& other Invertebrates) and Inviting Nature to Dinner 

Included below is a link to an interview with me on Studio 10  - the thumbnails always show us in our best light - well not so much :).   

Other media about my work can be found in an   #ABCWildOz  article "The secret to attracting butterflies to your garden".

Thanks for your support.


“The economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around."
—Gaylord Nelson

Learning to love life in all it forms: connecting ourselves with nature especially the small creatures of our world: butterflies, bees, and other invertebrates their ecological relationships and how they live their lives.

before and after photos of my garden. The front is on the left-hand side:

and in late 2018: 

  • Satoko Kuroda 
    • $10 
    • 5 mos
  • Michael Fox 
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • jennifer Rutherford 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 18 mos
  • Liana Joseph 
    • $25 
    • 23 mos
See all


Helen Schwencke