Bee-friendly flowers for your garden

Despite the recent wintry weather, the gardeners amongst us will be turning our thought to the new growing season. Here are some ideas for encouraging bees and other pollinating species into your plot.

Grow a range of plants for year round planting and flowering;
Avoid plants with double or multi-petalled flowers, which insects find hard to enter;
Avoid using pesticides on plants which are in flower;
Provide nest sites for wild bees: here is some advice on encouraging bumble bees to nest.
Here is a selection of plants for year round flowering:
Winter- Clematis cirrhosa-Spanish travellers joy, Crocus species-Crocus ( winter flowering), Salix aegyptiaca-Musk willow;
Spring-Acer platanoides-Norway maple, Geranium species-Cranesbill, Pulminaria species-lungwort;
Summer-Campanula latifolia-Native plant bellflower, Knautia arvensis- field scabious, Nicotiana sylvestris-Flowering tobacco plant;
Autumn-Arbutus unedo-Strawberry tree, Fatsia japonica- Japanese aralia, Anemone hupehensis-Chinese anemone.
There are so many beautiful plants out there for us and our pollinators to enjoy. Check out the RHS website for lots more info!
Esther Mann