Garden Answers (UK)
BEST PLANTS FOR POLLINATORS
● BEST FOR SPRING
Try pulmonaria (lungwort), which is one of the best for early bees. Drifts of crocus work well too in a sunny spot.
● BEST FOR POTS
Single dahlias need regular watering and feeding but reward with bees galore. Seek out useful plants for hanging baskets.
● BEST FOR SUMMER
Heleniums are excellent – ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ blooms for months. Hardy geraniums can be just as good.
● BEST SOFT FRUIT
The open flowers of currants, raspberries and blackberries are brilliant for attracting pollinators, which boost fruit yields.
● BEST FOR AUTUMN
Michaelmas daisies (symphyotrichum and asters) are always covered in pollinators, including our most colourful butterflies.
● BEST IN THE VEG
PATCH Runner beans rely on pollinators, as do companion plants such as marigolds and Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant).
● BEST TREES
There’s an apple tree for every garden. Both eating types and the wonderful crab apples are great for spring pollinators.
● BEST IN LAWNS
Hold off mowing in late spring to allow red and white clovers and bird’s-foot trefoil to flower – perfect for carder bees.
● BEST SHRUBS
Single-flowered deutzia ‘Strawberry Fields’ is likely to buzz with bumblebees, or try kolkwitzia (beauty bush) or many hebes.
● BEST HERBS
So many herbs are great for pollinators if allowed the chance to flower: go for marjoram, mint, rosemary, chives, sage and thyme.