Gardens take a lot of looking after. Watering regularly, trimming, weeding… There’s very rarely such thing as a quick fix.
However, there is something fairly easy you can do to take your garden to new heights – as well as contribute to the wellbeing of the environment more generally. It is not some magic formula or old wives’ tale. Instead it’s just enticing something nature offers us for free.
Bees. Bees are essential pollinators and keep gardens alive. Without them, entire ecosystems would collapse. On a smaller scale the plants in your garden become bigger, brighter and last longer, and the fruits you grow will germinate more because of bees. Attracting more bees into your garden means you too can benefit from their hard work.
Encouraging bee populations to thrive is also a good move environmentally speaking. Bees are becoming increasingly more endangered and for all gardeners, that is bad news. Bee populations are declining due to changes in agriculture, and an increase of land being used for housing instead of being left as landscape. This in turn leaves bees with little to feed on.
If your garden does not attract bees, there is probably a specific reason why, meaning that it will be possible to get them back again. You might not have enough plants and flowers for the bees to be interested. Importantly, you may also not be planting the right things. For example, honeybees will only pollinate crops and plants that are from their nation of origin, and all bees have clear preferences when it comes to the colour and shape of the flowers from which they’re willing to collect nectar.
Your plants and crops may be getting pollen through other means, such as the wind, and while that may be enough to keep your garden alive, introducing bees to your garden will make it come to life in a way you have never seen before. There is an extensive range of plants that, depending on the season, will attract bees to your garden, just some of which include:
March and April – Bleeding Hearts, Bluebells, Rosemary and Dandelions.
May and June – Chives, Honeywort, Wallflower, and Foxglove
July and August – Lavender, Burdocks, Hollyhock and Brambles
(For a really wonderful and complete guide to all plants good for attracting pollinating insects, try the RHS’s perfect for pollination guide.)
When planting to attract bees, it is also important you plant a high enough quantity of the plant so it will make the bees journey to your garden worth it. Having at least 4 or 5 of each flower will be more likely to entice a bee or two and you should see the bee numbers increase year after year.
So if your garden isn’t currently looking as summery as it should, and you’d like to inject some life into it – literally and figuratively – we recommend just planting a few new things. You’ll be making a difference to your own garden, and helping to keep bees around for future generations too.
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