- On March 9, 2013
- 2 Comments
Plant it…and they will come. I have discovered that, even on a remote windy peninsula, if you choose the right plants, the wildlife in your garden will blossom.
The bees (bumble & wild) and butterflies last year were in greater numbers than ever and, do you know, I think that’s the most rewarding part of my job – having the good company of these beautiful creatures. Before I started gardening (almost twenty years ago), I couldn’t have given a toss about wildlife. Now I find myself getting completely lost in their world……..watching a furry bumble nestling down for the night inside one of my dahlia flowers, or a little ladybird cosied up under a pile of debris & sticks in the corner of one of the borders, a shiny black beetle busily eating slug eggs under a plant pot – it’s a whole other world that us stupid white men just don’t appreciate….I could on and on but I’m rambling as usual.
Anyway, the point of this post was to point you in the right direction re plant choices, so here’s my top ten plants (in no particular order) for wildlife – why not give them a go?
Easy to grow, looks really pretty, hardy (flowered all winter) and the bees LOVE it. They tell you to sear the ends in hot water to make it last as a cut flower but I find it lasts fine, so long as you cut it at dusk.
Smells so good, both foliage and flowers cut beautifully, flowers from April – October, easy to grow and the bees love it.
3) Pussy Willow
Great early source of pollen for bees, grows, like wildfire in our wet climate, from cuttings. Eco friendly plant(see earlier blog post on willow). Makes great shelter in the garden boundary & useful from Xmas til spring in flower arrangements.
4) Feverfew – easy to grow and loved by bees and hoverflies. (Also great for migraines)
5) Scabious – loved by butterflies and bees and a great cut flower – also very hardy, flowering over a long season.
6) Phlox – easy to grow in our heavy clay, smells wonderful and loved by bees & butterflies.
7) Teasel – a great weed that self sows everywhere but loved by moths and the seedheads feed the birds in winter.
8) Echinacea – again great for bees & butterflies.
9) Cotoneaster – all types – great for berries for the birds in winter but best of all, as the miniscule flowers are just opening in spring, the bees are literally queuing up to feed – the noise is remarkable. Established plants also make a great shelter for wildlife.
10) Rosa moyesii – a very easy rose with single flowers and lovely flagon shaped hips for the birds in autumn. When in flower, the sound of bees is deafening – it is quite unbelievable – perhaps because it grows to such a height.
Anyway – this is just a select few – I would love to hear about what works best in your garden in attracting the wildlife – share, share why don’t you?! x