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Wildlife gardening

Plants for pollinators

bee on a flower

Do you want to have a bee friendly garden?

To help bees, butterflies and other pollinators it is important to have a range of nectar rich plants that flower across the seasons, particularly in early spring as they are emerging. The list below includes plants that flower from February through to the autumn. It isn’t a comprehensive list but the general rule of thumb is avoid double or multi flowers as they tend not to have nectar or pollen.

In addition our native wildflowers are also a valuable source of pollen and nectar.

Insect friendly annual plants

  • Cosmos
  • Nasturtiums
  • Scabious
  • French and English marigolds
  • Ageratum houstonianum
  • Nicotiana
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Zinnia elegans
  • Salvia sp
  • Sweet williams
  • Heliotropium arborescens
  • Alyssum maritimum
  • Lavatera – annual

Insect friendly perennials

  • Early flowering: Snowdrops, hellebores, pulmonaria, wall flowers, native primroses
  • English and French lavender
  • Gaura
  • Euphorbia
  • Forget me nots
  • Geranium sp
  • Achillea
  • Aquilegia
  • Centaurea montana
  • Many herbs are attractive to bees and other pollinators
  • Later flowering perennials: Japanese anemone, Michaelmas daisy, Dahlia, Autumn crocus, Hylotelephium sp
  • Shrubs
  • Hebes
  • Pyracantha
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Lavender Buddleia
  • Ivy

This is a list of plants for pollinating insects but don’t forget about other wildlife such as birds and small mammals which like seeds and berries as well insects. After plants have finished flowering leave them uncut over the autumn and winter to provide shelter for hibernating insects and seeds for other wildlife

Other wildlife friendly ideas for the garden

  • Create a log or leaf pile for invertebrates and animals that feed on them
  • Source of water for drinking, to bath in and for aquatic wildlife to live in
  • Leave a gap under the gate or fence to allow hedgehogs to pass through
  • Put up bird boxes, bat boxes and bee homes
  • Avoid using pesticides
  • Take part in No Mow May and leave the lawn uncut for the month
  • Bee homes
  • Bug hotel

For more information or how you can get involved in helping make the Derbyshire Dales more wildlife friendly please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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