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23.08.2017- Top Five Bee Friendly Plants

As we prepare to wave goodbye to August and start the inevitable slide into autumn, I'm already finding myself slightly bereft at the prospect of everything in the garden heading into hibernation mode for another year. As I've touched on in a couple of recent posts, this summer has been a glorious one in terms of how well some of my favourite plants have established themselves, and I'm already finding myself thinking about what to cultivate over the winter in time for next spring. Even more importantly, I'm keen to be as mindful as possible in my planting- particularly in terms of supporting that most precious of pollinators- the humble bee. With population decline a real problem across the spectrum of species, it's really important to offer these essential members of our ecosystem as much support as possible. With that in mind, I'm definitely going to be planting more of the following bee-friendly favourites in anticipation of next summer: 

As well as being a wonderfully fragrant favourite for any garden, lavender is also an essential if you're looking to have bees buzzing around. It's fairly easy to cultivate, whether that's in a pot or growing freely, and flowers throughout the summer. When autumn arrives, it's always worth giving your lavender plant a generous prune to guarantee a flurry of new flowers next year. 

Lobelia is another perfect plant for pollinators, and a great option if you're limited on space as it does really well in pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. Even better than that, it's comparatively low maintenance too, needing only regular watering to flourish. 

Next up, lilac- another low maintenance marvel. Although it needs a fair bit of space to do well, it's another plant which is happy to be largely left alone, producing beautiful, fragrant flower heads during the late summer and into autumn. As well as that, it's a real favourite of butterflies too, so well worth growing if you're looking to make your garden a wildlife haven. 

The hibiscus is a statement shrub which, thanks to their stunning flowers, keep bees coming back year after year. Although the more vibrant shades only thrive in warmer climes, the blue and purple hues tend to do really well in sunny spots. With regular deadheading most varieties keep blooming well into the autumn, and once established they flower year after year. 

Finally, phlox. A fragrant favourite which bees love thanks to the stable structure and open blooms, they're perfect for growing in borders and come in a variety of vibrant colours. They're perennials too, so will keep blooming year after year, bringing the bees back with them! 

Have you been growing anything recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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