Did you know that bees are so central to a healthy ecosystem that without them, our food systems would begin to fail to a point of extinction? Bees account for the pollination of roughly 35% of the world’s food crops, and more than three quarters of all pollinated flowers.
Bringing bees to your garden helps to grow their numbers and by association helps stimulate the local flora’s growth and diversity. Planting what is known as a pollinator garden has numerous benefits – not only do you benefit from a bright, beautiful array of flowers but your garden will serve as an essential nectar and pollen source for bees and other insects, including butterflies.
As autumn arrives in the UK and you start to plan your spring and summer garden for next year, we thought we’d give you some pointers on the best bulbs to plant to ensure your garden is humming with bees next year.
Big structure and bold colour
Start your bee garden with the tall, bold Agapanthus in blue or white, mixed in with a range of Alliums in purples, whites, light blue and pink hues. For early spring, make sure you’ve got large areas of Crocuses, Hyacinths, Snowdrops and Narcissus – their early flowering and scent will get your bee garden up and running in no time.
Add diversity in colour and structure with anemones, including our wood anemones for the natural glade effect.
For more permanent structure and long flowering periods, plant a range of Lavenders, Muscari Latifoliums, Verbena and Scabious.
When to get started?
The ideal time to plant many of the spring bulbs is October and November – for advice on how to plant your bulbs visit our growing advice section.
For those bulbs you’ll only plant in early spring next year, remember to store them correctly during winter, in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.
And remember to cut away dead leaves and pick flowers regularly to keep your plants as healthy and vibrant as possible for the bees.