Bee best friends

Lancashire Life - - WILL’S WISDOM -

Now is a great time to think about fill­ing your

garden with pol­li­na­tor-friendly plants

April is a lovely month in the garden, with spring bulbs look­ing fab­u­lous and blos­som on many of the trees.

Our gar­dens are spring­ing back to life and new growth can be seen ev­ery­where. Late win­ter­flow­er­ing shrubs are fin­ish­ing but their colour is quickly re­placed by pretty blooms of ribes, mag­no­lia, rhodo­den­dron and many oth­ers.

Spring is all about bright, vi­brant colours, so now is a great time to freshen up bor­ders. Be­fore you get started, re­move any weeds you can see, turning over the soil as you go. Any re­main­ing peren­ni­als that need di­vid­ing should be sorted now, and you can also divide con­gested clumps of prim­roses once they’ve fin­ished flow­er­ing.

If you’re lucky enough to have a col­lec­tion of lovely, big hostas, you can divide these if they’re get­ting too big. As soon as you see those lit­tle spikes pok­ing up, care­fully dig up the whole plant and use an old bread knife to slice through the clump. As long as each piece has a vis­i­ble shoot at­tached to a sec­tion of root then it will make a new plant. Re­mem­ber to wa­ter gen­er­ously.

Fin­ish off by digging in a

5cm layer of com­post or well­rot­ted ma­nure and work­ing in a general-pur­pose fer­tiliser too, to give your plants that added boost. You might want to feed any trees or hedges at the same time, lightly fork­ing in a slow re­lease fer­tiliser around the base.

Re­move any re­main­ing dead fo­liage on peren­ni­als and or­na­men­tal grasses to make way for new growth, and

prune Forsythias once they’ve fin­ished flow­er­ing. Plants like honey­suckle and clema­tis are putting on growth so train the shoots to their sup­ports and tie in.

If you’re adding new plants, con­sider those that at­tract bees and other ben­e­fi­cial in­sects. Now the weather is warmer, it’s a great idea to en­cour­age these friends as they pro­vide a nat­u­ral control to un­wanted pests. You can at­tract bees, but­ter­flies, lacewings and la­dy­birds by plant­ing nec­tar- and pollen-rich plants.

Plants like erysi­mum (wall­flow­ers), scabiosa, la­van­dula and achil­lea are all ideal and have the added ben­e­fit of bring­ing beau­ti­ful colour, and often scent, to your garden. Have a look on­line or ask for ad­vice in your garden cen­tre. The ben­e­fits these crea­tures bring can­not be over­stated.

If you’re look­ing for a show stop­ping plant for a con­tainer, con­sider the award-win­ning rhodo­den­dron ‘Nancy Evans’, with its gor­geous yel­low flow­ers tinged or­angey-pink at the edges. Com­pact and evergreen, with at­trac­tive fo­liage, it of­fers year­round in­ter­est.

ABOVE: Year round in­ter­est from Nancy Evans

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.