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Wedding Day rose - not so pollinator friendly?

I put in a Wedding Day rambling rose on my pergola last year and it has been flowering beautifully for the whole of June. I chose it largely because I thought its simple open flowers and fragrance would make it a good pollinator plant (which so many roses are not). In fact, the Gardeners World description includes this statement : "The single, open nature of its flowers make it a good plant for bees."  Some other plant websites also make that claim.  From my experience, I beg to differ and am extremely disappointed  I have never seen a bee, hoverfly or butterfly on it yet, and every insect that has come close to investigate it has flown straight off the the nearest foxglove or other flower. Anybody else had this, or a different experience?


  • FireFire Posts: 18,138
    As it’s pale, it may be that night fliers like moths are taking advantage of the pollen and nectar. Also there may be an army of micro bugs, that are not so visible, having a field day. Beetles and flies and mini critters are important too. white is not very visible to bees. They tend to make a bee line more for pinks and purples. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,854
    We had a Kiftsgate grown up against our last house walls.  Similar flowers and perfume and always buzzing with insects but not so many bees and then the birds enjoyed the hips in autumn and winter.   You need blues and purple for bees so consider growing an Etoile Violette clematis up it.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • @Obelixx. You could be right (although my biggest bee magnets last year were a white cosmos and a pink deutzia).  Or it could be that during the selection/breeding process that led to Wedding Day, it lost something - even though it looks as though it has all its 'bits'!  And I still take issue with the websites that say 'good for bees'. I look forward to the hips, as proof of pollination at least.  Have you definitely seen bees on Etoile Violette clematis, as I am sceptical about most clematis too.  
  • @Fire Thanks for your comments.  I did watch the rose after dark last night as it happens, and saw nothing, but hope you are right.  Also about the other insects, although I haven't seen any on it yet.  My zoologically trained eyes would not miss microbugs, I'm sure.  
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,160
    That's funny, I had Wedding Day at my last house in SW France. It always had bees on it when in flower and it scented the air around.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,854
    @entomophile I used to teach English conversation to agronomy, entomology, soil and water scientists and at the end of the academic year we'd have a lunch at my house.   Most thought you had to grow weeds/natives to attract insects of any kind so imagine their amazement at seeing assorted clematis, sedums, echinops, simple flowered roses, hardy geraniums, coneflowers and many more just buzzing.   4 different bees on one sedum spectabile and several kinds in assorted clematis of which I had 50. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • @Busy-Lizzie. That is good to know and gives me hope.  I do get a lovely scent from mine.  
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    The bees and hover flies go for my wedding day, it could just be that you have something more attractive to them in flower at the same time? They do tend to go for a particular favourite over everything else when available 
  • @Obelixx How lovely.  (50 clematis - wow!  I only have three so far but will be adding more - I would be interested to know which you find to be the most attractive to insects).  Dave Goulson (bumble bee ambassador!) also recommends many non-native and cultivated plants for bees. This is fine as far as far as nectar and pollen are concerned, but let's also remember that larval food-plant requirements for moths, butterflies and other insects are often native plants.
  • @Jellyfire Thanks, perhaps it was all the foxgloves, which have definitely been top of the menu this year.  We even have a very active hive of honey-bees about 8 metres from the Wedding Day rose, and I haven't seen any of them visit it yet!
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