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Haha Cheerypeabrain, it is quite a mouthful! Thankyou for your suggestions, I just spent another £90 on Crocus because of that 20% off offer...whoops! I bought hyssop, salvia, lobeilia, dierama, cotoneaster, verbena, pulmonarias, more achillea, bugle and an astrantia.

Oh yes, I forgot about annuals, got carried away with perennials, luckily I have annual seeds so I'll get sowing!

Hopefully I'll have a brilliant garden this year, have you got a favourite plant atall?

Woodgreen wonderboy

Bees need nectar/pollen all spring/summer long. It's not just a matter of lots of nice flowers in high season. On a warm day a couple of weeks ago I had lots of bees on flowering heather and willow catkins. The number of bees multiplies in the hive until they peak in late june/early july when the numbers start to fall and some bees move to start new colonies. You have to help them  "all" year round. Hope this helps.

Thankyou woodgreen...what would you say is the best plant for bees in the winter months, as I find it hard to decipher?

Woodgreen wonderboy

They basically hibernate for the winter and rely on honey they have made the year before. If the weather is warm at all some may come out and look for anything that is in flower...daphnes, viburnams, flowering bulbs etc. i am not a bee keeper or expert!

Thanks, think I'll treat myself to some viburnams and more snowdrops

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nutcutlet

And pulmonarias Ryan, if you've got a bit of shade. They can go under the tree with the cyclamen

Oh okay, I ordered some Pulmonarias yesterday...Do you think they'll still be in flower when I get them in a couple of weeks? 

nutcutlet

Might be lucky. But there's always next year

Are there any other plants that can go under shade, as I'm wanting to buy an apple tree and have more shade plants round the trunk. I will put in some cyclamen and pulmonarias around here too, but really would like a big variety that flower around the same time

nutcutlet

There was a recent thread on things that grow inshade. I'll see if i can find it.

That would be great, thanks

nutcutlet

Can't find it. Can't remember what it was called.

Loads of plants will take light shade. Avoid the felty grey leaved ones and the bright warmer country sunlovers and most will do OK. 

Aquilegias are good, epimediums, If you want some size, Mahonias are good winter flowerers. 

Sarcococca as well but not as big. Japanese anemones, 

If you do an internet search for shade plants you'll get nurseries come up that specialise and you can see what they list.

Woodgreen wonderboy

I am planting Erythroniums this year in my shady bed..lovely yellow flowers from a bulb\corms I bought last autumn.I am growing them in pots to establish at present and will plant out when I can see they are thriving. Perrenial. You may be able to buy them already growing at local Spring flower shows.

Thanks Nut and Woodgreen, gonna check all these out right now

chilli lover

Ryan - I've got pulmonarias ranging from white to pink, purple and blue. If yours are anything like mine they will self-seed everywhere  Our honey bees should be on them now but it's too cold for them to venture out - they won't normally until it's around 10C. I hope they have enough food still stored to see them through this neverending cold.

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Hi chilli lover, how long do they take to self seed? Mine are young (9cm pots), so I dont even know if they'll flower this year will they?

Chilli I can't see your comment

chilli lover
Hi Ryan if they don, t flower this year they will not seed! Be patient because when they get established they can be considered invasive but I personally love them
chilli lover
Sorry I don,t know what happened to my first attempt to reply Ryan