About my garden

Sunday 20 July 2014

Best bee plants

I am happy to say that my garden is buzzing with bees and other insects. I have never made a conscious effort to plant things to attract bees but I don't use any chemicals, and never have done here, so that must help. I have lived here 18 years so I guess any residue from anything previous occupants used is long gone.
We are told that bees like open single, rather than double flowers, which have not been over bred. These are the current bee favourites here:
 Oregano vulgare (probably) also available in white:
 I always find it strange that they are attracted to prickly plants but they love these teasels. Dipsacus follonum

 And this echinops.

Buddleia is well know for attracting butterflies but bees also love it. I bought this years ago and subsequently learnt that butterflies prefer the more common paler, lilac coloured one. I think this is 'Black Knight'. Sadly I don't get many butterflies.

 Winter savoury. This is fully hardy here and makes a small unruly hedge.
I clip in autumn or after it has flowered but it is now all over the path again. It is not very tall, about 45cm at most. It's a good flavoured herb and is evergreen which is useful. I grew these plants from seed but it also takes well from cuttings.

 This is hyssop. Which is great for bees and such a lovely blue. 

 Comfrey is pretty and bees find it very attractive. 

Hebe. I'm not sure what this one is as I grew it from a cutting. It has pink and white flowers and as last winter was so mild, it flowered right through until spring. A great bonus. It is about 75cm - 1m tall.

Perovskia atriplicifolia or Russian sage. 
This has also turned into an unruly bush which needs to be tied or staked. We had heavy rain which has probably not helped. This shrub is aromatic and architectural. If you leave the plant through winter the stems turn white. 
I am glad to be doing my bit for the bees. It is very worrying to hear of their decline but everything we gardeners can do will help. They also need water so it is good to leave a saucer or bowl out in hot weather if you don't have a pond or water feature. I have seen bees on the surface of the pond on hot days. 
It is no hardship to have any of these plants in my garden as they are all lovely.

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