Wildlife gardening

Plants for pollinators

Do you want to have a bee friendly garden? 

To help bees, butterflies and other pollinators it is important to have a range of nectar rich plants that flower across the seasons, particularly in early spring as they are emerging. The list below includes plants that flower from February through to the autumn. It isn’t a comprehensive list but the general rule of thumb is avoid double or multi flowers as they tend not to have nectar or pollen. In addition our native wildflowers are also a valuable source of pollen and nectar.

Insect friendly annual plants

Cosmos
Nasturtiums
Scabious
French and English marigolds
Ageratum houstonianum
Nicotiana
Verbena bonariensis
Zinnia elegans
Salvia sp
Sweet williams
Heliotropium arborescens
Alyssium maritimum
Lavatera – annual

Insect friendly perennials

Early flowering: Snowdrops, hellebores, pulmonaria, wall flowers, native primroses
English and French lavender
Gaura
Euphorbia
Forget me nots
Geranium sp
Achillea
Aquilegia
Centuarea montana
Centaurea montana

Many herbs are attractive to bees and other pollinators

Later flowering perennials: Japanese anemone, Michaelmas daisy, Dahlia, Autumn crocus, Hylotelephium sp

Shrubs

Hebes
Pyracantha
Skimmia japonica
Lavender
Buddleia
Ivy

This is a list of plants for pollinating insects but don’t forget about other wildlife such as birds and small mammals which like seeds and berries as well insects.
After plants have finished flowering leave them uncut over the autumn and winter to provide shelter for hibernating insects and seeds for other wildlife

Other wildlife friendly ideas for the garden

  • Create a log or leaf pile for invertebrates and animals that feed on them
  • Source of water for drinking, to bath in and for aquatic wildlife to live in
  • Leave a gap under the gate or fence to allow hedgehogs to pass through
  • Put up bird boxes, bat boxes and bee homes
  • Avoid using pesticides
  • Take part in No Mow May and leave the lawn uncut for the month
  • Bee homes
  • Bug hotel 
For more information or how you can get involved in helping make the Derbyshire Dales more wildlife friendly please email us.
To help bees, butterflies and other pollinators it is important to have a range of nectar rich plants that flower across the seasons,