Here at Wildflower Favours we only supply British-grown British wildflower species in our wildflower seed mixes – this means our plants for pollinators wedding favours are perfect for our butterflies, bees and other insects! British butterflies, bees, moths etc are best served by native British wildflowers rather than wildflowers grown from seeds that come from elsewhere in Europe or the United States. We feel very strongly about this and are pleased that the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have allowed us to use their Perfect for Pollinators badge on mixes where the wildflowers we supply are on their Perfect for Pollinators plant lists.
The RHS have compiled two very useful lists of wildflowers and general garden plants that are attractive to pollinators such as bees and hoverflies. Pollination is vital for successful setting of seed and fruiting and with our bees in serious decline it is vital that we all grow as many flowers as possible that will attract pollinators. There is also the added value that these flowers look fantastic and it gives you such a warm feeling to wander out into the garden and see so many butterflies and bees flitting about the flowers and to know you are doing your little bit to help nature!
How Can I Attract and Help Pollinators?
The RHS have provided three lists with plants to grow that are Perfect for Pollinators! A wildflower list, a garden flower list and a general list of flowers from around the world. As we are bonkers about wildflowers we will only comment on those. The list is divided into plants for different habitats and here are just a few of their recommendations: Lesser Knapweed, Viper’s Bugloss, Greater Knapweed, Field Scabious, Sea Holly, Yarrow, Heather, Pignut, Hound’s Tongue, Field Forget-me-not, Wild Foxglove, Yellow Deadnettle, White Deadnettle – such cool names! To further encourage pollinators, don’t use any pesticides or herbicides or, indeed, ANY chemicals at all in your garden. Using these is toxic to the earth and the insects. A healthy garden will have plenty of predators for pests, such as slugs, ladybirds and wasps.
Also avoid growing flowers with double blooms – they provide no value at all for pollinators. Similarly, a lot of summer bedding is of no use. Grow instead annual wildflowers such as Poppy, Cornflowers and Corn Chamomile.
Another great way to encourage butterflies and bees is to provide nesting sites for them – you can buy solitary bumblebee nesting boxes, nests for butterflies to overwinter in, nests for mason bees.
And why not get into bee-keeping? That will greatly boost bee numbers in your immediate local area. We don’t have hives but we have three bee nests under the tiles on our roof – the bees have been there for years and do not bother us at all – they are tree bees and honey bees. They just go about their business and our garden is buzzing with life.
We hope that having the Perfect for Pollinators badge in our product descriptions will help you choose seed [ackets that bees, hoverflies, moths and butterflies love. We all need to do our bit to help our dwindling bee populations, both for their benefit and ours.
For more info on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators visit their website.