One of my favourite things about this time of year is the sound of bees buzzing around my garden; I love bees. Plus the fact that we need them to pollinate means they are essential for horticulture. However, there has been a sharp decline in bumblebees over the last 30 years. Although pesticides have a considerable role to play in the cause of the decline, one of the other major contributing factors is the lack of suitable habitat for bumblebees. This is mainly due to the changing natural landscape in Scotland.
Many of us aren't doing enough to attract these wonderful and essential little creatures into our gardens. I have recently seen some great ideas on how to encourage buzzy bees into your garden such as bee hotels and bee baths! But my best advice is to plant some lovely colourful and seasonal plants and flowers that bees love. Below you can check out my top three recommendations for bee-friendly plants.
It looks great and smells amazing. Lavender can be planted in pots or in well-draining chalky soil.
Its best planted in late April and early May for blossoming during the summer months. Bees absolutely love lavender, as
do other pollinators such as butterflies. It makes a great addition to your kitchen garden too, an old round winner.
Foxgloves are one of my favourite plants. Luckily for us Scots they grow well in shaded and sheltered areas which means we often see them growing in the wild. Bright and colourful, they can grow up to six feet tall. Their many rounded and long flowering bulbs make it a perfect feasting ground for the buzzy bees. Although they require little maintenance, foxgloves tend to have a short lifespan. To enhance its life expectancy, avoid planting in soil that is too wet or is too dry, somewhere in the middle will help this lovely flower grow.
3. Wild marjoram
Otherwise known as oregano, it is another great kitchen garden addition that will help the buzzy bees. Wild marjoram has even been referred to as a 'nectar cafe'. Blossoming from June to September, wild marjoram has a less intense flavour than its Mediterranean counterpart oregano. Marjoram prefers sun over shade and is suited to well-drained soil. With pink and white flowers blossoming over the summer months it will be a beautiful and bright addition to your garden.
If you are really keen to create a bee-friendly garden, the expert team of gardeners and landscapers at J.R. Evans Garden Maintenance can help you design and organise your outdoor space to accommodate our little friends. Call, email or use our website contact form to get in touch.
PS. You can also find a huge list of plants good for pollinators via the RHS website