Pollinator-friendly edible plants
Five herbs pollinators
As you gear up to plant, plant, plant this spring, pack these bee- and butterflyfriendly plants into your gar- den.
Indeed, don’t hesitate to put them in pots, containers and every spare strip of space you have!
Some plants provide both nectar and pollen; others only one or the other.
Five flowering vegetables that bees, butterflies and pollinators love
1. Beans: Good early food source that provides both pollen and nectar. Beans, including broad beans, flower from midsummer through autumn. 2. Brassicas: These include mustard, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower that can be planted successively all year round. They provide both nectar and pollen from spring to autumn. 3. Cucurbits: Plant cucumber, zucchini, melon and pumpkin in full sun. They flower from spring to autumn, to provide both nectar and pollen. 4. Fennel: Bees love this hardy perennial though it provides only pollen. It flowers in late summer to autumn. 5. Borage: Just as we have learnt to love the flavour of the flowers, bees love the nectar and pollen in them.
1. Chives: A perennial that does well in the sun. It flowers in summer to provide nectar and pollen. 2. Coriander: Another summer favourite, it provides only nectar for pollinators. An annual that selfseeds, though you can sow regularly if you like. 3. Rosemary: Great for feeding pollinators as it flowers from winter to summer. Nectar in winter is particularly precious as there are far fewer food sources for pollinators then. Rosemary is a perennial that likes full sun and well-drained soil. 4. Thyme: You can plant different varieties for extended flowering to provide nectar and pollen in spring or summer. Thyme is a hardy perennial that likes sun and free-draining soil. 5. Winter savory: A perennial that requires a well-drained, sunny situation. It flowers in summer to provide nectar for pollinators.
Fruit trees & shrubs that also feed pollinators
1. Berries: Blueberries flower in spring and summer to provide nectar for pollinators. Raspberry and blackberry provide both nectar and pollen in spring to midsummer. 2. Citrus: You can plan your citrus varieties to flower for most of the year, providing yourself with juicy and nutritious fruit, and at the same time, nectar and pollen for the pollinators. 3. Passionfruit: Extremely useful as to can flower twice a year (February-April and JulyNovember) to provide nectar and pollen. Passionfruit needs a warm, frost-free location in full sun. 4. Apple, pear, peach and plum trees are all fantastic for producing not just fruit for us, but also nectar and pollen for the pollinators in late winter and spring.
Bee pollinating a purple borage flower in garden.