Verbena bonariensis attracts bees and other plants and will self seed itself. Achillea is another good one and a later in the season one is echinacea which is easy to grow from seed.
If not much room you could get a dwarf budleiea (buzz)
WOW! Thankyou very much everyone! I'm off to a garden centre later, so will make sure I buy as many of the suggestions I can find! I feel a huge shopping spree coming on and a hole burnt in my bank account :P
I used to have one bed entirely filled with lavender; the buzzing of the bees on it could be heard in the house! Problem was I used to have to harvest the flowers by torchlight to avoid being stung.
Funny you should say that artjak, because I was going to create a lavender hedge on each side of my garden path and was wondering whether I'd be able to walk through them in the height of summer shen bees are around. Might chance it, what do you think, was it worth it?
The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust has an excellent website full of advice & tips to help attract Bees.
Take a look....
Hope that helps.
You could also look for something like Red Valerian and aquilegia as they flower for months and months.
The key seems to be having flowers available as early as possible, so things like mahonia are also usefull there, flowering from nov-march.
PS Red Valerian is dead easy to grow from cuttings, so if you see one growing in a verge just stop and take some
Hi Ryan I have a Cotoneaster Horizontalis growing against my fence. It has tiny pink flowers in the spring and it is always covered in bees of every variety! I also like to attract birds and in the autumn the blackbirds and thrushes can't wait to get its red berries.
Hi guys, thankyou for all your posts...
Well, I've been to the garden centre and it was almost bare, probably the weekend rush, but I bought a few plants anyhow...
3 Pulmonarias, 3 Achillea, Salvia, Foxglove, Sedum, Aconitum, Primrose, Geranium, 3 Hellebores, 2 Aqueligia, Campanula and Polemonium...
This cost me £60, is that good? I did try and get a bargain...
Also, I have absolutely no idea what polemonium is and how to look after it, the picture just looked nice...any help on that would be appreciated thankyou
I'm planning to buy the more substantial plants like buddleia and cotoneaster and red valerian later on.
You have a lovely haul there Ryan...I've got a polenonumiumnomnimnum too
I garden to attract bumble bees and have had loads visit the garden...I would agree with the suggestions you've been given too. A few of the star perennial performers in our garden as far as bees are concerned have been....
Don't forget trusty annuals though, plants like phacelia, marigolds, cerinthe and sunflowers are bee magnets...(and butterflies love them too)
Haha Cheerypeabrain, it is quite a mouthful! Thankyou for your suggestions, I just spent another £90 on Crocus because of that 20% off offer...whoops! I bought hyssop, salvia, lobeilia, dierama, cotoneaster, verbena, pulmonarias, more achillea, bugle and an astrantia.
Oh yes, I forgot about annuals, got carried away with perennials, luckily I have annual seeds so I'll get sowing!
Hopefully I'll have a brilliant garden this year, have you got a favourite plant atall?