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6 messages
07/06/2014 at 10:34

Want to replace the hideous looking collection of plants which include a Holly and some sort  evergreen next to our west south west facing front door, so lots of strong light in afternoons.

Not really looked at the front garden yet but I think we'll be transforming the lawn into a wildflower meadow,
We're keen on helping attract the wildlife to our city home and helping the Bees out is a key priority.

Initially I really wanted a Wisteria but it turns out they're a big no no with Dogs?!

So I guess my question is;
What would be your climber choice for a west facing wall that the Bees will love?!  

07/06/2014 at 11:08

Just to add I have a £35 voucher for Burncoose!

07/06/2014 at 11:12
I know that eating wisteria seed pods can make dogs unwell but wouldn't rule it out if you like it so much especially if it will be by your front door ( am guessing that if your dog was outside alone it would not be in the front garden?). I think they would have to eat a fair amount to get anything worse than an upset system and you could sweep up the pods as they fell.

Re bee friendly plants do you know what your evergreen plant is? Holly is very attractive to bees and birds so unless you really don't like it maybe it's worth keeping? Sometimes it's the combination of plants that is unattractive rather then the individuals themselves.

But some suggestions - Cotoneaster is semi evergreen and very bee friendly, also has berries for winter interest. Likewise pyracantha. Native ivies are very good for bees but your brickwork needs to be in good condition or the ivy may damage it.

Honeysuckle is also good for attracting bees and butterflies and clematis and roses, but go for the open type where you can see the stamens and pollen. Anything to frilly or packed with petals is not usually good for insects as they can't get to the nectar. I think the alpine clematis are best but not sure.

The rhs website has a list of bee friendly plants which is quite comprehensive
07/06/2014 at 11:30

Many plants suits some sorts of bee but not others. Bumble bees have longer tongues and can reach further into flowers than honey bees. On Gardeners' World last week they had a feature about aquilegias, and showed how some bumble bees bite into the back end of the flower to get straight to the nectar, so you never know, except by watching, what will appeal to bees or why.

I agree, cotoneasters are very much liked by bees, who seem attracted even by flowers that are almost invisibly small to us, but some are a bit rampant and ungainly. Or pyrocanthus can make a stately climber if you train it well.

07/06/2014 at 11:53

I adore meadows but...

Luke, some unsolicited advice, front garden meadows in a city may look a bit 'unloved'  in winter and early spring making your property look empty or unattended.

if you can plant lavender in that position the insects will just smother it, the perfume is released as you come and go, low maintenance and evergreen throughout year. Lavender has umpteen uses within the home too. A natural antiseptic and antifungal it also makes lovely bath sachets and sleep pillows.

Never thought I would discourage a wildflower meadow planting though!?!

07/06/2014 at 16:35

I have a clematis Red Ballon which is always covered in bees when in flower.   I also have a single, open flowered rose Kiftsgate which the bees love.

I have a wisteria too and didn't know about their seed pods and dogs.  The wisteria wa splanted before we got our dogs.   Not normally a problem anyway as this is the first year we've had good flowers for  3 years after assorted hard winters and springs wiped them out.   I reckon it's a simple enough job to dead head the plant and so stop it wasting energy on seed pods, thus also saving the dogs.

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