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Bees and other pollinators are very important for your garden. Other than creating an atmosphere buzzing with life, bees are crucial to achieving a healthy garden.  Bees pollinate vegetables, fruit trees and ornamental plants, ultimately enhancing your garden’s productivity.  Busy bees are constantly at work to make sure we get a big harvest each season.

90% of wild plants, and 75% of food crops rely on animal pollination, and bees pollinate three-quarters of the UK’s wild-flowers.  Unfortunately, 20,000 species of bees currently face extinction.  As important as bees are to us, bees also rely on our gardens for food and shelter.  Certain plants are especially attractive to bees, providing them with pollen, nectar, and a nesting habitat.  Here are some examples of flowering plants that can help create a welcoming garden for bees.

PUSSY WILLOW - These early blooming ornamentals aren’t just a beautiful sight in the garden, but also an important food source to the hungry bees. As the colony of bees emerges in early spring, pussy willows will make sure they have enough to eat even when other nectar sources are scarce. Bumblebees, chocolate mining bees and Clarke’s mining bees are all fans of the pussy willow.


MAHONIA - Mahonia offers plenty of nectar and pollen to the bees. These tough flowering shrubs come in many different forms, some of which are scented. It’s a winter flowering plant and especially useful if you have winter active bumblebees in your garden. The clusters of yellow flowers are typically followed by purple berries, a food source for birds.


LAVENDER - Bees love lavenders. Ideal for growing in garden beds and pots, lavenders should be at the top of your list if you want to attract more bees to your garden. Grow lavender in light, airy soil that has good drainage. They won’t grow well in heavy soil that has the tendency to stay wet for long periods.


APPLES Apples, and especially crab apples, give spring flowers and bees are an important pollinators for these. Besides attracting bees to your garden, you’ll see an increase in apple production when assisted by bees.


HONEYSUCKLE - Honeysuckle is a prolific bloomer and an important source of nectar and pollen to the bees. Blooming in autumn, honeysuckle is regularly visited by Garden bumblebees and Carder bumblebees.


When we look at planting in gardens that we design, we ensure that the right plants are chosen for each area, but we also consider the wildlife impact.  We ensure that we use plants that will attract a variety of wildlife.   If you do not have a large garden, or do not want to create new beds, or change your existing ones, then pots can be sued to attract bees and other pollinators.  Now that spring is well underway hopefully you will start to see more bees in your garden.

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