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Bee & Butterfly Friendly Plants

We've just dug up an overcrowded border & are now looking to plant new bee & butterfly friendly plants, be it shrubs, climbers, flowers etc.

I'm a novice at gardening so not too sure on what plants to plant. The border is approximately 5.2m long & 1m wide & is south facing so gets a lot of sunlight all year round.

There is a wall about 2m high at the rear of the border which we have fixed trellis across the top half.

Any help would be most grateful!!!



  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,274

    Hi. Here is a link that should assist you:

    If the link doesn't work just copy and paste it into your browser.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • When I started planning my new borders I wanted to make them wildlife/bee friendly as well. There is a great variety available both in seed and plant form and nearly all of the major online suppliers mark their products so you will be able to spot them when you look and find out if they are suitable for your soil etc. A few of the ones that I like flower wise and perennial wise are:

    Alyssum saxatile 'Gold Dust'
    Campanula Clips
    Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness'  

    Foxgloves - any colour

    Lupins - any colour


    Lavender 'Munstead Dwarf'

    I'm sure the more knowledgeable plants people on here will be able to suggest many more but it's a few to get you started.

  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,264


    I keep honeybees and try and plant a succession of things so that they have food sources from early spring onwards. Snowdrop and aconites are both great early plants .... and will disappear underground by late spring leaving a space for something else to follow.

    Phacelia tanacetifolia, poppies and Limnanthes douglasii(also known as poached egg plants) are all easy from seed and will seed about for future years. Borage is also very popular with bees and butterflies. 

    Finally, you can't beat sedums for late summer.

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,445

    Knautia macedonica" melton pastels" and Cephalaria gigantea are  loved by bees.

    Jasmine or honeysuckle "Graham Thomas" would be good on the trellis, as would any wisteria or Single flowered clematis.

    Any umbellifer is good for hoverflys, bronze fennel is easy from seed, Anthiscus sylvestris "Ravenswing" adds a change of colour. Ammi Majus sown late this year will form big early flowering plants for next year.

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029


    Centaura Montana is a magnet for bees too and it just keeps going if you deadhead it.  The only downside is that it can seed itself about fairly generously.

  • jabsyjabsy Posts: 54

    every time I've passed a Cotoneaster in flower the bees seem to be addicted to it, it's usually the plant where I've seen the most bees together.  

    I love Foxgloves and try to grow as many as i can. 

  • Cotoneaster horizontalis is perfect for growing against a south facing wall, and bees love it. 

    Purple toadflax is also extremely good for bees.

    If you go to a garden centre or gardens open to the public you can see for yourself what the insects like best. There are plenty of plants to choose from.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If you go to the RHS website they have a PDF file you can download which contains so many plants you'll he spoilt for choice.

  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,458

    In addition to what has already been mentioned, alliums particularly Christophii, garlic chives, ordinary chives and hollandicum. Also catmint, the thymes, and most other herbs. Good shrubs are  escallonia, teucrium fruticans, some caenothus', honeysuckle and loads more.

    A good tip is to visit nurseries and garden centres on warm sunny days and see what plants pollinating insects are visiting. Also in general, go for single flowers and avoid the doubles as maby insects can't find their way in.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • shazza 3shazza 3 Posts: 197

    hello, I've bought quite a few nice plants in Morrison's and it usually tells you on the lables that they are good for insects/bees/butterflies. also wyvale put good info on their plants/labels as well. don't forget when you plant your shrubs, to keep them well - watered for the first year to help them establish a good root run. have a look on the RHS website which gives lots of information on this subject.

    good luck and enjoy image 

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