Creating a pollinator friendly garden

Creating a pollinator-friendly garden involves providing a diverse range of plants, habitats, and resources that attract and support pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. Here are some tips to make your garden more pollinator-friendly:

Plant a Variety of Flowers – Choose a variety of flowers with different shapes, colours, and bloom times to attract a diverse range of pollinators. Native plants are often well-adapted to local pollinators, so include some in your garden.

Include Pollinator-Friendly Trees and Shrubs – Trees and shrubs such as fruit trees, hawthorn, and hazel can provide additional food sources and nesting sites for pollinators.

Provide a Water Source – Set up a shallow dish with water, stones, or floating vegetation to provide a water source for pollinators.

Create Nesting Sites – Leave some areas of the garden undisturbed to provide nesting sites for bees and other ground-nesting insects.  You can also install bee hotels or nest boxes for solitary bees.

Avoid Pesticides – Minimise your use of pesticides, especially those containing neonicotinoids, which can be harmful to pollinators.

Plant Herbs – Herbs like lavender, thyme, and mint are not only aromatic but also attract pollinators.

Encourage Wildflowers – If you have the space let some areas of your garden to grow wild with native wildflowers, which can be particularly attractive to pollinators.

Get the timing right – Plant flowers that bloom at different times of the year to provide a continuous food source for pollinators.

Consider Vertical Gardening – Vertical gardening is proving ever more popular. Utilise vertical space by growing climbing plants and installing hanging baskets to maximize flower coverage.

Provide Sun and Shelter – Many pollinators, especially butterflies, benefit from sunny spots for basking and sheltered areas to escape from strong winds. (and lets be honest – Scotland has a lot of strong winds!)

Mulch Wisely – Use organic mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds, but avoid excessive mulching in areas where ground-nesting bees may need access to the soil.

Even by adopting a few of these tips, you can create a welcoming environment for pollinators and contribute to their conservation.  Alongside this, a pollinator-friendly garden enhances biodiversity and promotes a healthy ecosystem.