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planting bee and butterfly friendly garden

Hi all,   Iwant to create a raised bed - I have one area that gets very little sun - it only gets it in the morning.   I want to build a raised bed using paving slabs   The lawn in front I want to remove and plant bee/butterfly friendly plants.   I am hoping for ideas for plants for the raised beds and the new area in front - the plants would have to be ok with little or no sun. 

I would like plants that are perennial, full of colour and hardy if poss.   I know that this is a lot to ask but any help would be very much appreciated.

My first problem is I don't want to loose the daffodils, primroses etc that grow in this area.    I have never moved and stored this type of plant so want I really want to know is how to store these plants till I have the beds ready and then add them back into the planters and beds.   

Also, I would love some ideas on what plants I can use for the new area

Thanks a mill in anticipation   


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,329
    I imagine Buddleia would grow there ok  - there are many different types and sizes to choose from, and loved by butterflies.
    The problem is lack of sun. Most flowers like lots of sunshine.
    There are several hardy geraniums that would also be happy with not a lot of sun - e.g. geranium phaeum, but they're not really bee/butterfly magnets.
    You can lift the daffs when the foliage dies back (late spring/early summer) and either store or replant them. I often dig daffs up by mistake at different times of the year - I just poke them back where they came from and all is well. You could move the primroses when they've finished flowering and put them back when the works are done.

    There are some more plants that may be good here and here
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Heucheras do well in shade and they put up delicate flower spikes hence their other name,Coral Bells. Insects  love them. Also all aguas. 
  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    I have pulmonarias growing in that sort of spot, lovely colours and meant to be good for bees  :)  I also have a north wall which only gets a little evening sun and  foxgloves have done well there, also lamium maculatum (I've got the silver variety with purple flower spikes) which always had bees on last year. Hemp agrimony has grown well for me in shade too, it is quite big but supposed to be good for both bees and butterflies. Good luck with it! 
  • AndyDeanAndyDean Posts: 157
    Ajuga is great ground cover and will grow anywhere, puts up lovely short spikes of blue flowers which the bees like. Foxgloves, pulmonaria, astrantia, aquilegia and hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket - smells lovely and self seeds freely) should be fine.

    For shrubs, chaemoneles (Japanese quince) is ok with some shade I think, and is lovely in spring.
  • AndyDeanAndyDean Posts: 157
    Oh, and campanula would work I think.

    Honesty and forget-me-nots are also good.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Big fat bumblebees seem to like the flowering spikes on my potted hostas in the shady side of the garden.

    You could pot up the prims while you do the work. I crammed a load of plants into a 38cm gravel tray once while I re-did an area and they survived.

    Have you got an empty patch where you could 'heel in' the daffs?  The most important thing is to leave the leaves to die back naturally, feeds the bulbs for next years blooms.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,203
    Bees liked the geranium phaeum in my last garden and Ann Folkard is another good one for shady areas and bergenia is a possibility for earlier flowers.

    The RHS has a list of pollinator friendly plants which can be refined by sunlight, aspect etc.  Here is their list for shade - shade&form-mode=true&context=b=0&hf=10&l=en&q=%23all&s=desc%28plant_merged%29&sl=plantForm&r=f%2Fplant_pollination%2Ftrue&unwind=undefined

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi all    thank you so much for all the suggestions - I will keep a record of all the flowers and when I have completed my raised bed I will go plant shopping  :D.

    Does anyone know what I grasses and wild flowers I could plant - i am thinking of taking up the lawn in front of the raised bed and plant a wild flower garden.
  • Obelixx thanks for the web page - i have saved it for future reference.  :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,203
    Grasses will compete with wildflowers and win.   You can grow a plant called yellow rattle which reduces grass vigour and you need to make sure the soil has low fertility if you're planning an annual wildflower meadow.   Or you could have a perennial meadow -   Fount of info the RHS.  Big fan here.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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