Pollinators are so important. But many key species that we rely on to pollinate our crops are in threat. The more we can do to protect pollinators, the better. Bees, butterflies, other insects and a wide range of other wildlife is required for healthy, strong, resilient ecosystems.
The best thing we can do for pollinators is plant, plant and plant some more. But which plants should you choose, and in which combinations? Here are my top tips for those who are planting for pollinators:
- Choose as wide a variety of flowering plants as possible. (To boost biodiversity and attract a wide range of different pollinators.) Think about flower colour and shape, so many different species are catered for.
Right now, here is a selection of plants that are in bloom here on my property:
Fruit trees, currants, raspberries, Berberis darwinii, Flowering quince, Ribes sanguinea, Spirea, Hebe, Hawthorn, Azalia and Rhododendron, Lilac, Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Solanum, tulips, peas, broad beans, radish (allowed to flower for edible pods), tomatoes, dandelions, daisies, speedwell, chickweed and more…
- Select flowers so you have blooms in your garden throughout as much of the year as possible. (Blooms for late winter/ early spring are particularly important, since there is less food available for pollinators at this time. Plants to Entice Pollinators in Early Spring.)
- Remember to include trees and shrubs as well as herbaceous flowers. (You might be interested to learn that just five fruit trees (perhaps in a forest garden) provide as much nectar as an acre of meadow.)
- Choose perennial flowers – they will return to aid pollinators not just for one season but year after year.
- Replace your lawn with a wildflower meadow, incorporating plenty of native plants.
Another very, very important thing to remember is that organic gardening is the way to go. Never use harmful pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers that could harm these precious pollinators that we need to protect.