Get planting now to help early Spring insects

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Bumblebee queens come out of hibernation as early as February and these are quickly followed by new-generation solitary bees, butterflies and moths. They are are all searching urgently for food at a time when flowering plants are scarce. We can all help them by planting early flowering trees, shrubs and perennials.

Here are our top suggestions for gardens:

Perennials

Crocus ( especially purple and blue varieties)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria sp.)

English Bluebell (Hyancinthoides non-scripta)

Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) – single flowered forms

Bugle (Ajuga reptans)

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Carder Bee feeding on Pulmonaria flowers

Shrubs and trees

Oregon Grape (Mahonia)

Sallow/Pussy Willow (Salix sp.)

Fruit trees (Crab apple, flowering cherry, etc)

Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

Barberry (Berberis darwinii)

If you have room for a live-in lawn, try sowing Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum) which is loved by all early pollinators and  don’t forget to let the dandelions grow.

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