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How to make a nectar-rich container display


You can create a wildlife corner in even the smallest garden, and it doesn't have to be a patch of unmown grass or a scrambling scrub thicket. A single, large container will suffice, containing plants to attract bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other insects. The display will provide shelter for insects to roost or hibernate, food plants for various caterpillars, and sources of nectar for pollinating insects.

We created a scheme of nectar-rich nepeta, lavenders, geranium, polemonium, salvia and achillea to support a range of pollinating insects. To make the pot absolutely irresistible we added two 'bee hotels' to provide nesting opportunities for solitary bees.

How to do it


Sit the pot in position, then place a layer of yogurt pots or crocks to aid drainage. Part-fill with compost.


Add the plants, placing the taller ones at the back and the lower growing species at the front. Top up with compost and water well.


To make the two bee hotels, drill several deep, 5-8mm wide holes into a 15-20cm long log, and fill an offcut of drainpipe with lengths of bamboo. Place among the plants.

Our tip

Choose an open, sunny, sheltered site, where the container can sit undisturbed for several years

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a nectar-rich container display
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Greg Shell 01/02/2016 at 02:26

Thank you for your idea. My client has heard about bee keeping but was rightly concerned about the cost of commercial bee keeping.
His concern was about what should be done during the winter months.

Logan 01/02/2016 at 10:23

Hi no idea why don't you goole bee keeping

Dovefromabove 01/02/2016 at 10:31

It seems that there's some confusion between 'bee-keeping' as in being an 'apiarist', and encouraging wild bees and other beneficial insects for pollination. 

Logan's right - some research may help prioritise the client's requirements.

Becoming an apiarist/bee keeper is a big commitment.