Garden Answers (UK)

BEST PLANTS FOR POLLINATOR­S

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● 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.

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