More summer-flowering plants that are pollinator-friendly
Next up in my latest series of plants that are looking good now
Pollination is so important in our gardens.
Pollination needs to occur in order for our plants to reproduce. If we didn't have pollinators and pollination by wind, we wouldn't have our gardens and the plants that we love, as well as the crops that we need to survive.
Pollinators stop at flowers to drink the nectar that they need. When they land on the flowers, they pick up pollen and transfer it to the next flower that they visit. The transferred pollen will fertilise the egg cells of the second flower and it will produce seeds.
And to think that this is happening by all of those bees and butterflies, beneficial insects and bats, as well as wind pollination, all around the globe, every day. Nature is quite simply wonderful.
But with many detrimental factors, including climate change and global warming, our pollinators are in peril. So why not provide some delicious plants that will attract them and make your garden not only a wildlife haven, but also beautiful in the process.
A wonderful plant offering a long and late season of nectar and pollen for pollinators is the scabious.
Known as the pincushion, it has a beautiful meadow-like flower and like echinacea below, it has a wide and flat landing for pollinators, so is much favoured by them.
Scabious can be annuals, biennials or perennials, and with a long flowering season, they are easy to grow and low maintenance. Deadhead them to keep them flowering on through the summer and then in autumn, leave the seedheads in place for the birds.
Due to their bright colours and wide, flat shape that bees and butterflies find it easy to land on, echinacea is a super plant for pollinators.
A native perennial in the U.S., the daisy-like flowers are growing in popularity here in the U.K., not least because of their benefits to our pollinators. Echinacea has a long growing season from the middle to late summer, providing a late season food source.
The coneflower loves full sun and is best planted in the middle or the back of the border, as it can grow to a tall height.
Monarda, or bergamot, is not only a beautifully distinctive looking flower, but with a common name of Bee balm, you can imagine just how much it will attract the bees to your garden.
Ranging from lavender colours to scarlet-red, they look wonderful in a prairie-type planting scheme, but look particularly striking en masse. They flower for a long period right into autumn, which gives the pollinators access to the pollen and nectar later in the season, when they need it most.
Monarda is an absolute must for any gardener that is looking to attract pollinators and beneficial insects to their garden. It likes sun or part shade and moist, rich soil to grow at it's best.
Is there anything more classic and elegant than a rose? Roses are a wonderful choice for any garden situation and planting scheme.
They are easy to grow, relatively low maintenance and there are so many different varieties and flower shapes. However in terms of pollinators, not all roses are created equal.
Each variety of rose has differing amounts of nectar and pollinators will generally be attracted to those that have the strongest fragrance or the brightest colours.
As well as colour and fragrance, pollinators will favour roses that have single or semi-double flowers, as these are of an open shape that can allow the bees and butterflies to get to where the nectar and pollen is.
Wild species roses, such as Rosa rugosa for example, are a great choice for attracting pollinators.
In short, the fewer petals the better for our bees and butterflies.