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Bee friendly garden design ideas

Bee Friendly Garden Design

A Natural Bee Friendly Garden DesignBee friendly garden design

A bee friendly garden design is not hard to create. According to the national wildlife trust, nature is in crisis. However, if you have a garden, there is much you can do to help the plight of bees. Private gardens cover an area bigger than all of Britain’s nature reserves combined, so they are a vital part of the country’s green spaces. Homeowners can put wildlife habitats at the heart of their garden’s design and beauty by embracing nature as a fundamental building block.Bee friendly garden design

This means setting aside the arsenal of chemicals used to kill ‘foes’ like aphids because they also kill ‘friends’ such as pollinators like bees. Instead, aim for a self-regulating garden with a balance, predators need to have enough to food on to maintain a controlling presence. In order to have beneficial insects such as bees, ladybirds and lacewings we have to put up with a few greenflies on our roses.  If you want to create a bee friendly garden design compromises must made.

Incorporating Bee Friendly Garden Design Features.Bee friendly garden design

Many of our best pollinators are solitary bees, and many of these nest in the ground. Some species prefer vertical faces (cliffs and bare banks in nature) or bare sands and soils on the ground. For a bee friendly garden design it is important that both vertical and horizontal sands/soils are present in the garden.  Suggestions include a vertical container (corten, steel, painted or weathered) filled with sand or soil, drilled with holes to allow the bees to dig burrows but still contain the material. Or, tall, slim containers drilled with holes. There are a  wide range of ‘bee’ hotels available to buy online but it’s not difficult to create a desirable hotel for bees yourself! Find out how in this article. These man-made features are a way in which scarce habitats can be created and installed in gardens and urban areas so beneficial to these important insects. Bee friendly garden design

After a long winter’s sleep, queen bumblebees emerge for a good drink of nectar to replenish their energy reserves before looking for somewhere to call home, so dandelions and other wildflowers in the lawn are a real boost. Bee friendly garden design

Making Lawns Attractive to Bees

An immaculate garden with a stripy green lawn is not welcoming to wildlife and many of us probably have to re-define our thoughts on what is or is not a weed. I confess to have battled with dandelions my lawn for years without considering the benefits these nectar rich plants give to bees. Long grass is essential to attracting  healthy and varied insect populations and it doesn’t have to be a huge area. Just leaving the sides of the lawn area to grow longer is massively beneficial to nature. Or, if you leave your lawn to the grass to grow naturally with a narrow path mown through, a variety of wildflowers, such as cowslips, ox-eye daisies and meadow cranesbill have a chance to establish. Grass for bees in garden design To extend the season of interest, plant a succession of spring bulbs from early snowdrops and crocus to later flowering camassias, tulips and alliums. All will quickly naturalise.Cammassia in grass

My definition of a wildflower meadow now includes daisies, clover and buttercups growing through swathes of uncut grass, buzzing with the activity of bees.

Flowers to Grow in a Bee Friendly Garden Design

Flowers that attract bees provide abundant nectar and pollen and those in the blue-purple range produce the most nectar. Regardless of a flower’s shape or size, avoid cultivars with showy double flowers. Although attractive, they often make it more difficult for bees to access nectar and pollen than single flowers. Although spring and summer may seem to be when bees are at their busiest, some early-emerging bees rely on pollen and nectar from late winter and very early spring blooms so try to cover all the seasons. We have lots of ideas for the best plants for a bee friendly garden design in our related post HERE.

Bee on flower

Helping Bees in Winterleaves in garden

To some extent a bit of untidiness in the garden beneficial to bees. And it’s so easy to do! Create leaf and twig piles for shelter, grow ivy for cover and late nectar and leave your compost heap untouched until spring in case queen bumblebees are hibernating.  Small things can make a big difference to create vital habitats for wildlife within your garden.

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