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Plants for bees

With thanks to Mike Burks at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, here is a list of recommended plants to consider for your bee friendly garden.

See the Castle Gardens Newsletter

Cockspur Hawthorn – Crataegus crus-galli , white flowers in spring, plum foliage which turns orange in the autumn and red fruits which last well. Small tree.

Lime – Smaller variety - Tilia Cordata Winter Orange

Step- over apples – good for small gardens

Blueberry – needs acid soil or pot, superb autumn colour

 Californian Lilac -Ceanothus – especially Thyrsiflorus Repens (grows to 4ft by 4ft) and Puget Blue(upright form to grow against a fence)

Butterfly Bush -Buddleia – Buzz varieties (more compact) and Nanho blue. Prune in the autumn and then again in the spring to keep under control.

Lavenders – Munstead good variety, prune in autumn and spring to check good shape

Prunus incisa kojo no mai – Japanese cherry with single flowers bonsai shape ?tree

Cotoneasters – lots of varieties and shapes

Christmas Box – Sarcococca confusa, very fragrant in winter

Japanese Quince – Japonica, plant against wall

Flowering currant - Ribes (Elkington White)

Perennial wallflower – Erysium `Bowles Mauve or Blue`, will flower longer if dead-headed regularly

Winter Heathers – Ericas or Calluna, trim after flowering, put compost over plant to prevent woody centre

Lungworts – Pulmonarias, good for all bees

Pincushion Plant - Scabious – Blue or Pink Beauty

Knautia macedonia – giant scabious

Stonecrops – Sedums- Rose Carpet and Autumn Joy

Aubretia – Common and variegated varieties

Alliums – Bulbs for summer show

Dahlias – single flowered ? Bishop series

Cornflowers – plant seeds

Oriental and other single poppies

Cosmos – annual varieties from seed

Ivy – Hedera

Anemone Blanda bulbs

Primroses – wild variety


Hellebores – Anna`s Red but any variety is good


Poached egg plants – from seed, once established will self –seed

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