Attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden will not only help the environment as a whole but will add colour, fragrance and interest to your own garden.
Bees especially need our help, in the last fifty years bees have declined by 50% due to many factors including predatory bee mites and the destruction of natural habitats and other factors that nobody is really sure of at the moment.
Bees pollinate our food crops as well as our adorable gardening plants so, in a way, they are essential to our very own survival.
But it is sad to say that most gardens these days are sparse in vegetation.
The trend today is to hard landscape with flagstones, decking, concrete or other impervious materials.
Its understandable in today’s busy life. These landscaping materials are virtually maintenance free, no weeding or digging. Leaving time for us to follow other pursuits.
And if its not hard landscaping gardens are laid mainly to lawn with the odd border of evergreen no maintenance shrubs. All that’s required is to mow the lawn once a week in summer.
But this way of gardening cannot support wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies and other insects, and if there are several gardens in the same street with this type of landscaping then a sterile wildlife “wilderness” is created.
Attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden can be as simple as planting some flowers such as Aster, Echinacea and Zinnia in a few tubs and containers. Or grow shrubs such as Buddleja, Ligustrum x vicaryi (Golden Privet) or bush fruits such as Raspberry, Red or White Current.
Or it can be as elaborate or extreme as you like. Carpet Bedding using the right plants will attract bees and other pollinators. So will a well planted traditional cottage garden.
Pollinators are attracted to flowers by their colours, position and shape of petals and fragrance.
Studies have recently shown that flowers on tall stems moving in the breeze will attract bees and other pollinators more than static low growing flowers.
Flowering Plants that attract bees and other pollinators
Shrubs that attract Bees and other Pollinators
If we all create in our gardens an oasis for wildlife, even just a small one, then we will be helping ourselves in the long term as well as enjoying our plants and flowers and the bees, butterflies and other insects they attract.