Great pollinator reads

With Christmas just around the corner, here are some great books to buy as presents, or to put on your own Santa’s wish list. Planting: Companion to Wildlife Gardening by Chris Baines The Wildlife Gardener by Kate Bradbury No Nettles Required: The Reassuring Truth About Wildlife Gardening by Ken Thompson THE RHS Wildlife Gardening for…

Plant of the month – Blue Eryngo

Eryngium planum, known as Blue Eryngo or Flat Sea Holly, is native to central and southeastern Europe and central Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial growing to 90 cm high with branched silvery-blue stems, and numerous small blue conical flowerheads surrounded by spiky bracts in summer. It is bush-like in appearance but fits in well in any herbaceous border.   It has…

Food for caterpillars

While bees and wasps require pollen and nectar-rich flowers to feed themselves and their young, butterflies and moths have different food requirements. Adult insects are nectar feeders but their offspring are not, and need plant leaves and grasses for food. Female butterflies and moths locate and lay their eggs on the type of plant that…

Plant Of The Month – Borage

Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb which was introduced to Britain by the Romans, and is native to the Mediterranean region. It is occasionally found on cultivated ground and around the coast in Guernsey, and grows really well in gardens, remaining there from year to year by self-seeding. The plant grows to a…

Get planting!

A ‘wildlife garden’ doesn’t mean that everything in has to be ‘wild’ or ‘native’. While native wildflowers are certainly good for pollinating insects, some require low nutrient soils and are hard to establish in gardens. There is, however, a whole range of species of flower that are related to our wild flowers but are better…

The Flower Border

It’s still too early in the year to be planting in the garden. However it’s never too early to start planning that new ‘pollinator friendly’ flower border. Here is a selection of really good perennials that will give a dazzling display from Spring through to Autumn, year after year (providing you ‘dead head’ from time…

Get planting now to help early Spring insects

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…

Wildlife friendly hedging

Planting a mixed hedge of native species will provide a very valuable addition to any wildlife garden. Hawthorn, for instance, provides food for more than 150 different insect species, and the May flowers provide much needed early-season nectar for pollinators. By autumn the flowers have turned into the red berries beloved by birds. Moth caterpillars…

Plant of the Month – Lamb’s-Ear

  Lamb’s-ear plants are perennial herbs densely covered with grey or silver-white hairs which will attract Wool Carder Bees (Anthidium mancatum). Unusually, females of this distinctive species line their nests with plant hairs that they collect from the leaves of of Lamb’s-Ear. Male Wool Carder Bees are aware of this and patrol the plants, fighting…

Top Ten Nectar Plants For Butterflies

  Butterflies and moths need nectar-rich flowers for food.  Adding these plants to your garden will keep them fuelled throughout the season. Most of these are easy to grow perennials, which will do their job, year after year. • Buddleia – The Butterfly Bush • Verbena bonariensis • Wallflower – Bowles Mauve • Ice Plant…