Gardens play a crucial role in encouraging the production of wildlife, as plants, flowers, and even your weeds provide bees and various other pollinators with the nectar they need to live well and thrive. Growing a bee-friendly garden is easier than you think, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend exorbitant amounts on exotic flowers either.
The UK is believed to have lost 13 species of bee, and 35 more are considered endangered if we don’t do more to preserve them.
By growing a more bee-friendly garden, you can contribute to the massive restocking that is urgently needed – and even better – many of the best-adapted plants are actually the least-maintenance ones.
Larger “flowers within flowers”, such as double peonies, tend to present a much tougher challenge for bees to access pollen, and many of these are hybrid plants.
They are bred more for aesthetic purposes and do not tend to sow and produce enough pollen.
Bees are attracted to their bright colors, but they won’t get their fair share of nectar.
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Instead, to truly grow a bee-friendly garden, you should opt for the most simplistic foliage — but that doesn’t mean a bland garden.
Here are five beautiful, low-maintenance plants you can grow to encourage wildlife in your garden.
Lavender is a paradise for bees; it is believed that they can see purple better than any other color.
These hardy, drought-tolerant shrubs are rich in nectar, come in a variety of shades, and can grow year-round.
As we quickly approach summer, these flowering shrubs would be perfect to plant in your garden.
The conical flowers are known to attract all kinds of pollinating insects, including bees. They grow quickly and tend to bloom in late summer, displaying a mass of showy flowers to really brighten up your late summer garden.
The mint family
Bees love all herbs, but herbs in the mint family are a particularly great option when planning your bee-friendly garden.
In addition to lavender, the mint family includes classics like mint, basil, sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, and are known to be pollinator-pleasing.
Depending on your choice, these will generally bloom from early spring to late winter, providing continuous pollen and nectar.
By planting a few of these around your garden, you will not only feed the bees, but you can also reap the benefits with good food seasonings or tea additions.
As bee colonies tend to dwindle more during the mid to late summer period, the bees are under even more pressure to stock up on food for the winter months.
Sedum can save the day, as it tends to flower from September, and luckily they are also very easy to grow and look lovely in a group.
Its flowers are very easily accessible to bees, and they are also incredibly attractive to butterflies – so if you want more of them in your garden, sedum is a great option.