Bee friendly bedding plantsPosted By: Hugh Forbia Category: Seasonal Advice, Wildlife
With the warm temperatures and the risk of frost now passed, it's the perfect time to plant up some seasonal pots and put out bedding plants for colour all summer. There's a huge range of varieties avaialable and any number of combinations but if you're keen on wildlife you may want to make sure the plants you choose are popular with bees too.
Here's a guide to our top ten bedding plants to encourage bees (and other polinators) into your garden.
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum). This low growing bedder has a long lasting display of fluffy blue, slightly luminous, flowers through the summer and into the autumn. Perfect for the front of sunny borders or pots.
Alyssum (Alyssum maritimum). Sweet Alyssum bears it's heads of honey scented flowers in white and shades of pink and purple from late spring to the end of summer. It makes a dense spreading plant, perfect for the front of the border or on the edge of a pot.
Cherry Pie (Heliotropium arborescens). A strongly fragrant plant with a very distinctive scent likened to 'Cherry Pie'. The rich, purple flowers bloom from late June until the autumn above very dark green textured foliage. They can be overwintered if protected from frost.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus). The amazing Cosmos! Flowering non-stop throughout the summer and early autumn these deceptively sturdy plants have delicate soft foliage and cheery, open daisy flowers in whites and pinks. Tall and dwarf forms are available.
Salvias (Salvia species). Bedding Salvias give a height to displays with their upright habit and tall spikes of blue or red flowers. Blooming from late spring until the autumn.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus). Impresive spikes of hooded flowers in a range of colours that begin blooming early in the spring and continue all summer long. A useful bedder for a shader site as well as sunny spots.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus). Ever popular as an easy plant to grow from seed, Sunflowers now come in a range of sizes and colours, including yellow, red and white. Dead-head the flowers as they go over or leave the seeds to ripen for the birds later in the year.
Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus). Classic cottage garden favourites. Endless supplies of sweetly fragrant flowers on climbing stems throughout the summer in a range of colours. Keep picking them to promote more and more flowers.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus). Another cottage garden classic, loved for their large heads of brightly coloured, scented flowers ranging from crimson through red, pinks and white. They bloom in late spring and summer and also make a great cut flower.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans). An outstanding plant that thrives in even the hottest, driest spot. The large daisy flowers come in a terrific range of both hot and pastel colours, blooming right up to the frosts.