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Wildlife Garden – Bee Friendly Plants

Bees on Echinacea

by Annette J Beveridge

A wildlife garden – no matter how small can become a haven for nature. When you create an environment with nature in mind, you provide food and shelter for all types of creatures. In addition to this, by bringing nature into your home environment, it becomes a haven for you too. You will gain a sense of tranquility, peace and relaxation, in addition, it will be a place to go so to feel connected to nature.

Nature is at risk

Nature is at risk on a global scale and here in Britain, we have a nature depleted landscape. When you think about to your childhood and the birds, animals and insects that were in abundance then, you can see the difference. This is why it is important that you stand up for nature. Do your bit to support our native species. Bees are struggling like much of our wildlife but they play an important role in our survival. We MUST take an active role in protecting and providing for bees in return.

We are now feeling the first chill of autumnal days. Our thoughts must turn to the long winter months where the cold snaps can greatly impact our beautiful wildlife. Create a wildlife garden and you welcome in and support those species that will struggle when the weather turns bitingly cold. You provide habitat which enables species to hide. You do not have to be an experienced gardener, you just need to want to do something positive for nature.

A Wildlife Garden

A wildlife garden can make the difference between life and death for many creatures. Just a little care and attention can create a vibrantly beautiful winter garden that benefits all. There is nothing like a splash of colour to make the world seem a better place especially when grey skies shroud our environments. We, like many animals, long to hibernate away those cold months.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on plants to create an area that is teeming with life. Here are some fabulous plants that will turn your garden into a mini nature reserve. Create a corner of the garden for nature or, create a big display. Equally, even the smallest of spaces such as a terrace with an array of pots can boost nature’s survival.

Snowdrops

I always think of snowdrops as a sign that spring will soon be with us. They emerge through frozen soil bringing an abundance of yellow pollen. This is vital for any bumblebees or honeybees that may appear at the first glimpse of sunlight.

Crocus

Plant these bulbs in pots or in your lawn and in early spring, you will have a glorious abundance of colour. Importantly, some bees shelter in the flowers overnight so you provide food and shelter for these vitally-important insects.

Primroses

The primrose provides a burst of colour and is a welcome source of pollen from early March. It’s a great little plant for a shady area of the garden or to plant in pots. Think back to the common sight of primroses under trees and growing wild along roadsides.

Winter Aconite

These beautiful yellow flowers are a welcome addition to your garden, If you give them some space, they will spread well and add colour to a winter landscape. They have pollen rich flowers so honey bees and bumblebees will love them.

Rosemary

This is a hardy herb that can be used to flavour your food as well as to feed bumblebees, honey bees and mason bees. With gorgeous purple/blue flowers, they will add many benefits to your wildlife garden.

Winter Honeysuckle

These beautiful climbers provide plenty of flowers for nectar right through into the spring months. If you have a shed or a bare garden wall, then, this plant may be for you. It adds a burst of colour but it also takes the starkness away from a bare space.

Winter-Flowering Heathers

These are ideal low-maintenance plants. Heather plants are often underrated but they provide structure and some ground cover for even the smallest gardens.

Echinacea

Echinacea is an amazing plant to have in the garden. The beautiful flowers attract bees, butterflies and birds and the flowers provide nectar and pollen. Opt for Echinacea purpurea, angustifolia or pallida rather than the hybrid options.

Mahonia

Mahonia has a cluster of winter flowers and bees love them. Opt for Apollo or Buckland as these flower from November through to March.

Ivy

Ivy often gets a bad press but it is an excellent plant for helping wildlife. Try to leave ivy alone if you have some on the house or in the garden as it can be a source of pollen and nectar. The berries provide high fat content food for birds too.

A little planning can go a long way when you are planning a wildlife garden. You don’t need to know a lot about a huge array of plants, just read up on the ones that appeal to you. Keep your focus in mind. If you go to a garden centre, it is easy to become distracted from your aim so write a list and be specific in your search. The bees and other creatures will thank you for your efforts.

Annette J Beveridge is an author, editor, and freelance writer. She set up Creative1 Publishing back in 2007 with the aim of helping authors to achieve their publishing goals. The last 10 years have been spent travelling through France and Spain. She lived in the beautiful Pyrenees mountains for several years surrounded by nature. Now back in the UK, Annette writes about nature and health topics generally. Find out more about Annette HERE.

Published inEnvironmental

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