wildlife friendly plants(10 Posts)
We've recently moved house and are planning on making the garden bee an butterfly friendly.
We're hoping to go for mainly pink and white flowering plants but that's not set in stone. Recommendations are welcome please.
Buddleia is lovely in pink (it comes in lots of other colours) the butterflies LOVE it . I saw swallow tailed black and white one on mine the year before last. (google said that they only live on papaya trees!!)
Wallflowers are gorgeous too there were lots of insects on mine this year and I only put them in in the autumn!, if you 've got a very sunny area that's a bit rocky and\or sandy. Mine are purplish though and I've got some orange ones I love their scent so went a bit mad!
Honeysuckle is easy to grow and of course the bees love it!
Some lavenders have white flowers, I bought one last year from Aldi. It's very pretty and the bees love it.
What a lovely idea. Generally for insect friendliness;
- No 'double' flowers (ie they have twice as many petals as usual). The insects can't get into them.
- No sterile plants (some plants are like this because they have been bred by a different method. They will be labelled somewhere).
- Have a mixture of daisy shapes , tubular flowers (eg antirrhinums), and multi-headed (eg buddleia).
- have some water in your garden somewhere - a birdbath, a tiny pond (do a search on 'ponds in a bowl' if you're short of space).
- keep a pile of small logs/ decaying sticks for insects to hide in
- make a bee lodge (google)
- try to have something which flowers at the end of winter for any insects who wake up too early.
Plant suggestions; Eryngium; larkspur; echinacea; phlox; spiraea; geraniums; viburnum; sophora for early flowers (yellow not pink).
I'm in the process of trying to do the same with our garden, in fact my first plants just went out into the beds today!
So far I've got a honeysuckle (predominantly white) and a clematis (mine is a really dark purple but they come in loads of colours), both of which are apparently great for bees.
I've got some hardy geraniums (they don't always appear on bee-friendly plant lists but my mum has a bed full and the bees seem to love them) which come in loads of different shades of pink and I think there are some white ones as well.
One small bed I've got some heathers in, they come in various shades of pink and there are some white ones as well. Some flower very early or late so they're apparently good for bees at the start and end of the season.
The bed I've yet to tackle is going to be mostly lavender and aubretia. There are white and I think pink varieties of lavender but the aubretia might be a bit on the purple side if you want to stick exclusively to pink and white.
Shrubs are good too, they add interest and height to the garden, Cotoneaster is lovely because of the flowers for the insects and the berries which birds love. You can get lots of different types. Fruit trees too of course!
I did this in my last garden. I used pink, white, purple and yellow to give me a bit more flexibility (and also appeal to more bugs). A nice colour combination that made it look very cottage garden, even though it was a townhouse. I had fuchsia, salvia, campanula, hollyhock, geranium, lavender, heather and rose among others. All perennial so easy to manage.
Also if you can encourage dandelions and clover on the lawn (if there is one), the bees love them.
go to a garden centre to have a look at the mentioned plants. sometimes even popular bee plants are sterile, so if no insects around in garden centre don't buy.
I can add
- alkanet/komfrey (both considered weeds by some people)
- nettles (same as above, but there are lovely ornamental ones as well)
- ceanothus (blue tree)
- shrub hibiscus
- spring bulbs (snow drops/crocus/blue bells/narcissi/tulips)
Bees in my garden love alliums, they also like lobelia, I plant a bit round my tomatoes as it seems to draw them in.
They also love a pale blue, low growing plant, I think it may be annual borage. Its a low growing spreader and is like a weed. I leave it as the bees go crazy for it.
They also like lavender and laveteria.
Just planted some creeping lemon thyme and it is very popular with the bees. The flowers are pink. It looks like the one in this photo
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