Bring A Buzz To Your Garden
Our wild bees and other pollinators are considered to be in serious decline in the UK.
Pollinators play a crucial role in plant reproduction. The fruit and seeds of many plants are an important food source for people and wildlife alike, which is why now is an an important time for us as gardeners to make a real impact on our insects’ future!
Many of us assume that a flower which is big, bright and beautiful to our eyes will be just as attractive to bees, butterflies and other insects. This isn't always the case.
We've come up with a list of our top picks to help you decide on which plants to use to get your garden buzzing:
Many varieties of lavender, ‘hidcote’ in particular, have been found to be among the most attractive plants to bumblebees. It’s thought that this is because of their simple clusters of flowers which are easy for bees to land on.
Buddleja, commonly known as 'butterfly bush', is one of the best-known nectar flowers for adult butterflies. Its sweet fragrance is like a honey pot to all kinds of butterflies from Red Admirals to Chalkhill Blue's.
Not only does it look and smell wonderful, Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' is packed full of nectar and is known to be particularly attractive to long-tongued bumble bees.
Asters tend to flower late in the season so are great for butterflies that hibernate over winter. Try to incorporate varieties with fewer petals as those with masses of petals are difficult for insects to land on and less good as nectar providers.
With an extremely long blooming season, Geranium Rozanne is popular amongst gardeners and bees alike.
The Foxglove has cleverly evolved to attract larger pollinators such as the bumblebee. Nectar is produced at the base of the flower meaning that to reach their sweet reward, bumblebees must travel through the tunnel shaped flowers, rubbing off pollen from other flowers as they do so.
Remember to choose plants in a range of colours, sizes and textures. Select flowers with long and varying flowering periods. The more diversity you provide, the more insects you're likely to attract!
Source: The Ecologist