06 Oct Pickings for pollinators
There’s a chill in the air, the nights are drawing in and my summer garden flowers are beginning to fade. Not only were these blooms great for my floral foraging but they provided a welcome source of nectar for insects. Autumn is officially here but that doesn’t mean we can’t have glorious garden colour, wonderful window boxes or pots full of pretty plants.
Seasonal flowering plants are both pleasing on the eye and good for the local wildlife. Take your pick from Asters, Sedum, Japanese Anemone, Hebe and Verbenas. Dahlias also make a brilliant late summer, early autumn garden flower. They have the added advantage of the more you pick the more they flower. Single flower types are best for bees, they have fewer petals giving insects easy access to the flower pollen and nectar.
Different flowers are favoured by different insects. Attracted by fragrance and/or colour they feed on the nectar which helps them build up for winter hibernation, improving their chances of surviving the cold weather. Bees love Hebes and Sedum where as butterflies and moths prefer Verbena. Asters are ace allrounders. They look great as a cut flower in autumn bunches and left in the garden they attract butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies.