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The trend for too long now has been to develop, market and grow large, blowsy, double flowers. Not sure if nature ever evolved any doubles or whether they are an unnautural abberation. And what about the poor bees and their various cousins struggling to get their tongues into them. They haven't had time to evolve long enough to cope! So when you go shopping for plants, seeds etc. this spring....
Simple flowers can be beatiful too....
You are preaching to the choir.
i have a cottage garden and today saw a huge bumble bee go into some rocks on my bank and not come out i hope they will nest there will keep an eye on them.
I think everybody on the forum knows about the decline of our bees and most of us are doing our level best to help our little friends.
This year, I am planning a new border specifically with the bees in mind. I noticed just how many of them visited the same border last year as it was predominantly planted with Johnsons Blue so it gave me the idea.
I've divided it now to make space for single flowering plants which will give them a helping hand. I have some more hardy geraniums to go in and have started off Cosmos, Echinacea,Rudbeckia,Oriental poppy Dwarf Allegro and an annual that seems to have been forgotten as of late - Sweet Sultan (Amberboa Moschata )
I also have trellis panels at the back of this border so have sown Canary Creeper up to now and also have some single flowered Clematis .
I am really looking forward to this project and am looking forward to later on in the if everything goes to plan.
Sorry - that should have been later on in the year.
I agree, the double form is also often quite ugly, especially in Hollyhocks.
I grow lots of lavender and the bees seem to love it...also geraniums, fuchsias, , clematis, honeysuckle, roses - bush, rambler and climbers, rosemary, lilys, peonies, numerous summer flowering bulbs...I'm still planting up my borders so any flower the bees really love? (that slugs don't!)
Slughunter - OH keeps bees. This is not exclusive but very firm favourites in our garden are in winter the heather and mahonia, later the pyracantha and autumn michaelmas daisies. These are all guaranteed to be teeming with bees - in fact you can actually hear them buzzing there's so much activity! (Plus they are not troubled by slugs )
In our garden the Bees love Agastache,Eupatorium,Prunus Kojo No Mai,Basil African Blue and of course - Sunflowers
Pam LL x
I'm developing a cottage garden so always grow with pollinators in mind, I tend to avoid the double flowers for that reason and don't really like the look of them either. Now I'm trying to plant with an all season interest for bees.
Slughunter, plants that that have done well for me in attracting bees and other insects and don't seem to be slug food are wallflowers, particulary the Bowles Mauve, which grow into lovely shrubs. I've enjoyed many moments enjoying bumblies feeding off snapdragons as well as lupins.
My entire garden has been designed for fragrance and bees and butterflies. I agree with the doubles not always looking good and I grow all single flowers myself...other than a black peony poppy. (They were given to me as a gift at Yule)
My project this year...(one of many) is to create a bug, bee and insect holiday hotel in the garden near the bottom. Lots of wee nooks and crannies that they can hide in. Also looking to add some cane poles in my strawberry patch and basin planter for the mason bee too
well that just goes to show bees love them as well
On a warm day recently...yes there was one!...my flowering heathers were covered by honey bees. The din was amazing.
Good news Ww, not seen any pollinators yet, just goes to show they are out there
Went to a talk on bees recently at local hortisoc. At this time of year the bees are breeding inside the hive and come out in warm weather. Numbers increase steadily to a maximum around late june/early july and then naturally start to reduce. So they are there but like good children are staying indoors at moment. aaaah......
Slughunter - in the Spring the bees go mad for the tiny pink flowers on the Cotoneaster and in the autumn the blackbirds go mad for the berries. It grows up against a fence and does not interest slugs