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Hydrangea replacement

One of the plants that came along with my my house is a hydrangea — generally I'm ambivalent about hydrangeas.  I'm trying to fill my garden it as many wildlife friendly plants and in that regard this plant is a complete failure; It seems to be a sterile variety, nothing is interested in eating it, even spiders don't find it a useful place to anchor their webs. My garden is small so the space it's taking up is an opportunity-cost too much, hence it's fate has been sealed.

Any suggestions for something wildlife friendly to replace it? The path you can see runs South-East to North-West. It just about escapes the shade of the fence so gets decent sun from 10am until late afternoon. I'd like something that I can keep to the same size as the current plant.



  • chickychicky Posts: 10,379
    edited January 2019
    Our cotoneasters are smothered with bees in May and June 🐝.  The flowers are insignificant to the human eye, but they seem to pack a punch as far as the bees are concerned.  Also get berries in the autumn 🍂 

    Or how about a lavender 💜
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,115
    Are you only planting up that small spot, or are you intending using the rest of the space for plants too? That would give you more scope  :)
    If the ground, and your conditions, are suitable, you could look at some of the shrubby Salvias. Many are quite tough, and you would have loads of spikes of flowers for bees and other insects through summer. You can underplant with bulbs as well, to give some early colour, and those will be valuable for bees too, as early nectar can be a bit lacking for them.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • chicky; thanks for the suggestion alas I already have a cottoneaster. It's visible in the background. I dislike the way it cuts the garden in half, however that's another project for another day!  That said, something that provides both flowers and berries would be a good contender.

    Fairygirl; I do hope to get more plants in that section to replace bare gravel but the starting point is the corner with the hydrangea. I'll be replacing the tatty wood edging so I can definitely open a larger area if the replacement requires it.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,429
    edited January 2019
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,179
    How about one of the hebes? Bees love them, they're evergreen and most grow to a nice dome shape.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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