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I want bees in my garden

(40 Posts)
PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:24:40

Hello green fingered ones! I am a dreadful gardener (usually limited to lawn, hedge, bulbs and bedding plants).....but I do love bees. Love them. What do they like and how can I attract them? We have loads of lavender which is popular. Garden is north facing but slopes up so the back bit is very sunny and exposed but there are shady places near the house.

To give you an idea of my poor skills, plants I have killed in the last couple of years

Buddlea (sp??) x3
Countless fuschias
A well established honeysuckle
A well established apple tree
Clematis x3

I even think my mint is on its way out! So anything really, really hardy please!!

SueGeneris Tue 23-May-17 20:27:32

I have what I think is a weed in my garden but the bees love it. Green alkanet:

CheesyChristie Tue 23-May-17 20:28:13

I got some "bee mats" from the garden centre last year. It's basically two sheets of blue roll with seeds in between them. You just unroll it, sprinkle soil on top and water. My then 3yo was entirely responsible for it. It grew lots of lovely poppies and cornflowers and there were plenty of bees visiting too.

SueGeneris Tue 23-May-17 20:28:19

PS am not green fingered!

MikeUniformMike Tue 23-May-17 20:33:15

How did you kill the plants?

Bees like my cotoneaster and lavender. I plant the roots of spring onions in the garden so that they regrow and leave them to flower. The bees love the onion flowers.

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:33:22

I've got loads of that Sue - it makes my hands itch! I'll leave the patches that aren't in my way though if they like it.

And I will google the bee mat - thanks!

AlternativeTentacle Tue 23-May-17 20:34:16

How did you kill these:
Buddlea (sp??) x3
Countless fuschias
A well established honeysuckle
A well established apple tree
Clematis x3


PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:34:33

mike I don't know!!! I think I just invest too much emotion in them and they just die to spite me! I am v conscientious!

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:35:46

I didn't do ANYTHING to the honeysuckle or apple tree. The others I planted, watered, fed....and they shrivelled up and went blaxk

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:37:14

The first year we lived here I had thousands of apples. The second...fewer. This year no blossom and hardly any leaves. Everyone round us seems to have trees heaving with fruit....

phoenix1973 Tue 23-May-17 20:37:45

Sounds like your bee plants were not suitable for north facing gardens as there's just not enough sun.
Ironically, I've just bought all the plants you mention in order to encourage bees.
Trouble is, I've also discovered a bee hive under our shed. 😮😂
I've got a south ish garden and the plants for bees either like full sun or just half shade.
You could try dicentra "bleeding heart" or get some bulbs "allium" foxgloves (highly toxic, be careful where you plant them). These are all I can think of for more shady gardens at the mo.

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:37:51

I'd like camellias, hyacinths and peonies but I might just burn some money instead

RedBugMug Tue 23-May-17 20:39:40

deuzia wisteria

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:40:20

Too many toddlers for foxgloves sadly as they are so pretty. The bleeding heart looks lovely, I'll give it a shot

Shenanagins Tue 23-May-17 20:41:36

I'm always buy a wild garden seed mix, sprinkle it about and hope for the best. Although this year I've noticed that under the bird feeder seems to have a lot of flowers sprouting!

RedBugMug Tue 23-May-17 20:43:07

or get bee friendly seed mix, usually marigold, borage, nasturtiums
those are edible as well, so no probs with toddlers.

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:43:42

I'll try that too shenanigans. And thanks for the other tips red bug.

I want a wisteria too. And a lilac.

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 20:44:34

Oooh we planted loads of nasturtium seeds today. That's good. Thanks!

JT05 Tue 23-May-17 21:05:45

Cranesbill geranium, valerian and some roses do well in shade. What is your soil like? Maybe that's an issue with some plants.

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 23-May-17 21:30:28

We have a cotoneaster hedge which is swarming with them at this time of year and seems bombproof (it was here when we moved in 15 years ago, all I do is prune it). Gorgeous red berries in winter which blackbirds love.

venys Tue 23-May-17 21:36:13

At the moment the bees are going mad for the wild poppies, the chives, strawberry plants and roses. The marigolds are popping out too. Later will be lavender. These are all plants I barely or don't take care of but they are in the sun. Could you investigate if any of these can tolerate shade?

WellTidy Tue 23-May-17 21:37:58

OP, I have masses of green alkanet too. It is a nightmare weed. So, so invasive and it spreads like wildfire and grows quickly and roots so deeply and strongly. If it were me, I wouldn't keep it in order to attract bees. I have loads of different lavender, and a pink be a blue ceanothus, all of which the bees love. The green alkanet us a nightmare to keep on top of though.

BuffyChiro Tue 23-May-17 21:46:32

Another vote for lavender. We have a couple of different types and, come summer, they're covered in bees.

Titsywoo Tue 23-May-17 22:01:32

I have planted my flowerbeds to attract bees. The ones they like best are ceanothus, lavender and campanula.

PersisFord Tue 23-May-17 22:04:08

We have got loads of lavender as that seems to grow really well! That's a shame about the alkaline energy stuff, I was looking for an excuse not to do anything with it! I'll look into the others - roses do well in our garden but are a bit of an effort. Pretty though. We have strawberries. I'll look up the other stuff.

I'm not really sure what my soil is - not clay like at all. I have an azalea which is doing well which my mum coos over - apparently they are hard to grow. I have done nothing to it ever except plant it!

Things that grow well for me are daffodils, my azalea, lavender and roses. I have a small bush with sprays of white flowers shaped like bells which is great and the bees like it and the lavender. Berries, jasmine, grape vine on the back wall. Rhododendron bush which I hate.

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