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…

January species spotlight

There can only be one candidate this month – Bombus terrestris – the Buff-tailed Bumblebee. Throughout the summer this is the commonest of our bumblebees, but in January, it is the only one! Bumblebee colonies die off in the Autumn leaving only newly-mated queens to survive the winter by hibernating underground. These bees depend on…

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…

Bee Hotels

  Some solitary bees nest in holes or tunnels, and can benefit from artificial bee hotels being provided in gardens. These can be bought online or from garden centres, but you can also make your own. Marc Carlton’s excellent website provides lots of information on this. http://www.foxleas.com/make-a-bee-hotel.asp  

September spotlight species

September spotlight species is the Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae), a relative newcomer to our shores. First seen here in the Guernsey in 2001, this solitary bee is now widespread with colonies island wide. As the name suggests this bee thrives on our native Ivy (an important wildlife garden plant) and appears just as this climbing…

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…

Welcome!

Pollinating insects are in trouble. Intensive farming, climate change, urban growth and the over use of pesticides have all been devastating to these insects. Two thirds of our butterflies and moths are in long term decline. Across Europe 38% of bees and hoverflies are also in decline. And yet, one out of every three mouthfuls of…