Bees need flowers, and our gardens play a vital role in providing rest and food for these important insects. Making a bee-friendly garden is simple and doesn't need to be large or expensive. A window box, a strip next to a path, or a whole flower bed, whatever space you have, you can use to help keep bees and other pollinators happy.
Some bees emerge from hibernation as early as February, while others are still flying in November. To give bees the best possible chance to thrive, it's therefore important to grow flowers from late winter to autumn – all year round if possible. Spring flowering bulbs are low maintenance, and can be planted in any space, big or small. Simply bury the bulbs in the autumn, and enjoy the flowers when they open! They provide vital early season food.
If you have more time and space, the following guidelines can help you make a haven for our hardworking pollinators, as well as a beautiful space for humans to enjoy:
Choose single, open flowers where you can see the central part of the flower – where the bees can access the nectar and pollen.
Place each plant in groups or drifts so that the colour and scent are easy to detect
Prolong the flowering season – select plants so that you have a show of flowers from early spring to late autumn
Add herbs to the mix as they are highly attractive to insects, or design a dedicated herb garden
For ideas on specific plants for different soils and spaces, follow these links: