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Small South Facing Front Garden

Have been researching pollinator friendly plants but there's so much to choose from that I'm a bit overwhelmed as to what to choose and when they can all be planted.

I've more experience in container/basket planting so a garden is going to be a challenge. I'm going for mainly purples/blues/whites/pinks for the colour scheme hoping to attract more bees to the garden.

The garden measures 7.2m x 5m. Am planning the borders to be about 3.5m deep. Will be retaining an established Sambuca nigra planted in a corner and a James Galway rose climbing up trellis in the centre of the wall of the house with clematis growing either side. I have some lavender already and I would like to plant a Prunus Amanagowa somewhere.

Any advice anyone? :) thanks.

Last edited: 27 July 2017 14:48:00


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462

    Keep a space at the front for some small flowered crocuses and some Pulmonaria. These both flower early and are invaluable food supplies for the first bees. The crocus love the sun, so will be happy, but the pulmonarias need a soil that is not too dry and don't mind a bit of shade, perhaps provided by another plant.

    I wouldn't be without the perennial wallflower, Erysimum 'Bowles'Mauve. Mine has flowered continuously for the last 18 months (really!)and is a magnet for bees and butterflies.

    Scabious are very pretty and good for pollinators  too and you can get short or taller ones and a choice of colours to fit your scheme.

    Furry silver Lamb's ears, Stachys Byzantina, is rarely without a bee in my garden and I leave the flowers to the very end for this reason, but it does look a bit untidy by then, so tuck it to one side, not centre stage. 

    Foxgloves, Veronicas, Achilleas, hardy geraniums and any daisy flowers are all good choices (plenty to choose from too!) .

    Make sure you include Sedum  Spectabile and some Asters  for late flowers . Aster X frikartii 'Monch' is a good one, or try 'Alma Potschke' for some bright autumnal cheer!

    Last edited: 27 July 2017 17:50:22

  • marjbmarjb Posts: 3

    Wow, all very lovely plants.  Thanks so much for the recommendations and I'll certainly include some if not all of them!  :)  I had read about Erysimum 'Bowles'Mauve being a dead cert to include so will definitely have that one in the mix. Got lots to think about. Thanks, Buttercupdays.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Purple: the bees and hoverflies have been all over my allium sphaerocephalon this summer.  Bought and planted the bulbs last autumn, only 99p for a bag of 15.  

    Have had a really good show from them in my SW front garden ?.


  • marjbmarjb Posts: 3

    Hi Kitty2.  Just checked out the allium. Lovely. I'll add it to the list! Will keep my eyes open for bulbs and plant them when? In the autumn or spring? Thank you!

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    The ones I got were on sale last autumn marjb. I got some dwarf iris and narcissus "Minnow" at the same time from "Home Bargains",  cheap as chips at 99p a bag.

    All were planted up by Sept/Oct...ish ???  Had a good show from them all.

    I've grown quite a few annuals from seed this year, promoted as "great for pollinators" on the packet,  but have found they don't work as well in a small garden.  Phacelia tanacetefolia, the bees go crazy for it but got a bit too sprawly in a small space, likewise with the echium "blue bedder". A shame as the colours were fantastic in my purple colour scheme. 

    An underated plant on the bee friendly list is white clover.  If you have it in a patch of lawn, don't blast it out with weedkiller, let it grow. It's drought tolerant, stays green when the fine lawn grasses struggle, and the bees adore the flowers ?

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