Top 10 bee friendly plants for the forest garden
Bring a splash of colour to your forest garden with some stalwart “system plants”, providing a much needed boost of all-year-round nectar and pollen for your friendly pollinators and predators 🐝
The whole idea behind a forest garden is that it works with nature, to be as self-sustaining as possible. This means encouraging as much wildlife as possible so that all the crops are pollinated and all the pests are naturally controlled by predators. So a productive forest garden is, by definition, a wildlife friendly garden.
I had a huge amount of fun choosing my top ten bee & pollinator friendly plants. The trees (canopy layer) have been planted, and I’m most of the way through the planting the ground cover. Now I’m thinking hard about shrubs and system plants (these are plants that aren’t harvested for a direct crop but which provide great benefit for the garden as a whole). Now is the time for colour, for the bees and me!
The criteria for choosing the plants are threefold:
- They provide nectar and pollen
- They have a long flowering period
- I like the look of them
That last one isn’t so scientific. So, in no particular order, with the common name, flowering period and photo:
- Erica carnea (Winter Heath), Jan-Apr
- Lamium purpureum (Purple Deadnettle), Jan-Dec
- Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife), Jun-Sep
- Glechoma hederacea (Alefoot), Mar-Jun
- Symphytum ibericum (Dwarf Comfrey), May-Sep
- Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold), Jan-Dec
- Borago officinalis (Borage), May-Aug
- Linaria vulgaris (Toadflax), Jul-Oct
- Reseda luteola (European Mignonette, Dyer’s Rocket), Jun-Oct
- Ulex europeaus (Gorse), Jan-Dec
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