Woodland, hedgerows and verges have been disappearing at an alarming rate and parts of the countryside are now green deserts with very few wild flowers so bees need your help!  

It doesn't matter if your garden is a balcony, allotment, window box, hanging basket, pots and tubs or a swathe of green open space; with a bit of thought pollinators can benefit from a banquet of pollen and nectar right throughout the year.

Choose plants with single, open flowers for easy access to the pollen and nectar.

And remember! When you are next out at the garden centre keep your eye out for these:

Hellebore species and hybrids

Helleborus Niger (Christmas Rose) and
H. orientalis (lenten rose) are popular.
Tolerant of most conditions, they prefer
moist, well drained alkaline soil in dappled
shade. They can grow well in pots.

Salvia species

Choose the right one for your garden.
They can be pruned in the spring and look
striking in a border. Salvias are sun-loving
plants and good drainage is essential for
the survival of almost all salvias.

Echinacea

A good choice is Echinacea purpurea. This
daisy like flower is a long-flowering border
perennial which is easy to grow. It is an excellent
plant for pollinators, rich in nectar
through late summer and autumn.

Rudbeckia laciniata

Striking larger plant with tall upright
stems, divided foliage and many single
yellow flowers in late summer. Easy to
grow if given full sun or partial shade and a
moderately fertile soil that is moist but
well-drained.

Lavandula species

Lavender angustifolia is a good choice and a
superb plant for introducing vibrant colour
and scent into a garden. Lavender is ideal
for a mixed border, but it also makes a
fantastic edging plant. Lavender really
needs sun, well-drained soil and dislikes
wet, especially in the winter.

Galanthus nivalis common snowdrop

A delicate little flower bravely flowering in
early Spring, often covered in snow, but a
vital source for pollen and nectar.

Crocus species (winter-flowering)

Delightful splashes of vibrant colour in
spring, easy to grow and look beautiful in
containers or in groups on a lawn. An early
source of pollen for the bees

Cosmos

Cosmos are very easy to grow and have
edible flowers. simply scatter the seeds
and these freely flowering annual plants
will spring up. A good choice is Cosmos
bipinnatus.

Sedum species

There are many varieties of sedum plants,
which make them suitable for almost all
types of gardens. Sedums are hardy, easy to
care for and make great cut flowers. Sedum
spectabile, ‘ice plant’, is a good choice.

Verbena species

Verbena will thrive in full sun, well drained
soil and relatively dry conditions. Verbena
officinalis is a good choice for long lasting
blooms during the summer. It has tall,
fragrant flowers on rigid stems and will
attract many pollinators.

Our BBKA leaflet Ten favourite flowers to attract Honey Bees  is available for you to print at home.

For the keen gardeners who want to go a bit deeper, read Sarah Holdsworth's BBKA News article about the impact of different cultivars and hybrid clones explaining how to identify them from their names, providing a full overview of what to plant and when.