Sustainability is a key focus in our gardens these days, therefore planting flowers that attract wildlife should play a crucial part in our planting decisions.
During the warmer months, our gardens are a busy working site for much of our favourite and beneficial wildlife such as bees and butterflies. There are steps we can take to maximise the attractiveness of our gardens to these beneficial insects throughout the year such as the following;
How to attract Bees and Butterflies to my garden
- Avoid using harmful pesticides in your garden, these are poisonous to wildlife. Using organic practices will encourage more of the 'good bugs' which in turn will kill off the bad guys
- Plant flowering plants in groups, thereby creating an attractive feeding ground for wildlife.
- Use succession planting, ensuring pollen rich blooms are present in your garden from early Spring right through to the beginning of Winter. An easy and inexpensive way to achieve this is by planting Spring flowering bulbs in Autumn and Summer flowering bulbs in Spring in your borders or in containers.
- Allow a patch of your garden to go wild. This might be a strip of grass that you leave un-mown or even allowing a corner of nettles to grow will provide food for larvae (caterpillars) to grow and develop. Long grass will provide a great habitat for bumblebee nests and wildflowers such as dandeloins, buttercups and primroses are a perfect food for pollinating insects.
- Single flower plants are a better choice for planting rather than double flowering blooms. It is much easier for bees to extract the protein rich pollen from a single flower plant such as dahlia and many varieties of cosmos for example.
- Plant native trees that produce flowers during the colder months of Winter / early Spring. Native plants such as rowan, alder, cherry, hawthorn, most fruit trees will provide a valuable source of food for garden wildlife at times of the year when food is sparse.
Visit The Pavilion Garden Centre in Cork for more help and advice on how to encourage your garden to be a sustainable home for wildlife right throughout the year.