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New plant growing venture

I have just acquired some land and am at the preparation stage of lining the ground, to grow on plants to sell. I would like to in the long term find out more about plants that bees rely on, I have just picked up my first order of lavender hidcote and munstead. I have been working in horticulture for 15 yrs and I feel this is the next chapter. Does anybody else out there grow plants with wildlife and bees in mind, any advice, or any hints or tips. 

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  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    I'll be fascinated to hear how you get on image Everything purchased for my garden is bee friendly minus the double roses. General rule of thumb is to avoid 'double flowers', as bees can't gain access to the pollen or nectar. 

    There are so many favourites to grow, it's about providing all year round sources of food. 

    My most popular here are the Lupins, delphiniums, pycrantha blossom, rhododendrons, crocus for late winter, iris, asters, foxgloves, sedums, ivy flowers for late autumn, nepeta, dahlias, buddlejas, campanulas, hardy geraniums, lace cap hydrangeas, echinaceas, heathers for winter, grape hyacinths for early spring, forget me nots, eryngium, alliums, echinops ritro, verbena bonariensis, purple toadflax, salvias, penstemons, hibiscus & pulmonaria. Lots of wildflowers too like cornflowers & scabious. 

    Annuals like snapdragons, lobelia & calibrachoa go down a treat as well. 

    Last edited: 03 March 2017 16:39:58

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,297

    Cotoneaster Horizontalis - in my garden you can locate it just by the sound of buzzing!  Also very good for blackbirds after the berries. Chaenomeles for early flowers, Hyssop, Agastaches and shrubby Salvias, Erysimum 'Bowle's Mauve' are all very popular. Don't forget Lamb's Ear, Stachys Lanata, all bees love the flowers and Wool Carder bees collect the hairs from the leaves for their nests!

    Wildflowers seem good at attracting butterflies - the tiny pink flowers of Herb Robert are a magnet, though many think of it as a troublesome weed, Purple Lythrum and Knapweed, Centaurea Nigra, are all good for butterflies, as is Willowherb. Rosebay willowherb is the food plant of the beautiful Elephant Hawk moth. Thistles are a food plant for Painted Ladies, nettles are food for Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Admiral and Ladies' Smock, Cardamine Pratensis are food for Orange Tips.

    Then there are things with seeds and berries for the birds.....image

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