Gardens are our little patches of heaven where we like to relax at the end of the day and enjoy the best of what nature has to offer - the amazing colours and smell of our favourite flowers. But there’s someone else that loves gardens even more than we do. Bees, our trusted hard-working pollinators, rely on flowers in our backyard and their tasty stores of nectar and pollen.
Some of the best flowers for planting in a bee garden are the ones that don’t have that many petals making them easier for the bees to access. Double flowers can also be difficult to navigate. So, keep this in mind when choosing plants for your bee garden. To attract bees, make sure you have at least two types of bee-friendly flowers in bloom from spring to autumn. Different species of bees are active throughout the year.
Flower suggestions for different seasons:
Spring: bluebell, dicentra, crocus, viburnum, lungwort, crocus, dandelion
Early summer: campanula, comfrey, allium, borage, catmint, hollyhock, globe thistle, poppy, sweet pea, thyme
Late summer: buddleia, cornflower, echinacea, foxglove, honeysuckle, lavender, nasturtium, ivy, sedum
Avoid using Pesticide! To keep pests at bay, plant marigolds and tomatoes together, plant garlic among your roses and leave dry sprigs of holly around your strawberries as a defence against slugs. These will naturally deter unwanted insects without the use of poison.
Best herbs for cooking and bees:These 10 common herbs are among some of the best plants in providing bees with valuable nectar and pollen throughout the year.
3. Fennel's bright yellow flowerheads are rich in nectar and pollen – food for mining bees, yellow-faced bees, bumblebees, and honeybees. The herb tastes of aniseed and produces aromatic seeds. Fennel can really grow. Plant it in a sunny spot at the back of a border. Flowering season: Mid to late summer.
4. Rosemary - Pluck fresh needles from this drought-tolerant herb all year round. Its flared blue-purple flowers attract mason bees, flower bees, bumblebees, and honeybees. Short of space? Pot creeping rosemary in a sunny spot. Flowering season: Starts in spring. Can continue throughout the year – even in winter.
5. Chives are easy to grow in pots or a window box. Snip with scissors at the base of the plants to encourage more leaves to grow. The edible purple flowers feed bumblebees, honeybees, mason bees and leafcutter bees. Share with the bees and add colour to your salads. Flowering season: Spring and summer.
Some Bee facts from the World Wildlife Federation - https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/fascinating-facts/bees
Want to find out how bee friendly your garden is? Click here - https://beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org
Don’t forget to tag us @dandarahomes, we would love to see your garden posts this summer!