Buzzing bees, romantic butterflies, scrumptious scents and cool colours.
Plants that attract wildlife
Attracting wildlife in the garden is often a key factor many of us consider when choosing plants.
Everyone loves to see bees buzzing around the garden, and the flutter of butterflies does have a certain romantic appeal. It is always great to have trees full of birds that produce a wonderful daily chorus of tweets, chirps and chirrups.
All this nature is great to be a part of, and it really helps to choose plants that are loved by the wildlife you want to see in the garden.
The wider the variety of food sources you provide, either naturally or with supplements, the greater the variety of wildlife you will attract. Seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, nectar, sap and pollen are all good food sources.
When choosing plants, try a variety of different nectar rich species to attract an assortment of wildlife. Different bees have different length tongues so they prefer different shaped flowers, some bees like bell shaped flowers. Bees and butterflies are normally on the lookout for flat surfaces or umbrella-shaped flowers that they can use as a landing platform.
The perfect example would be the Calippo series of Lantanas, or daisy shaped blooms like the Autumn Jewels series of Asters.
Butterflies love the Calippo series of Lantanas for their excellent landing pad and luscious nectar. They have a very tropical look and are really eye catching for their cocktails of colour. My favourite is Calippo 'Tutti Fruitti' for its blend of colours: yellows, oranges and reds that go right through to bubblegum pink. Plant them in combination with other bedding plants for a colourful and tropical patio pot.
The Buzz series of Proven Winners Buddleja are the world's first patio version of the Buddleja. They are loved by bees and butterflies and they flower all summer providing endless sweet nectar to attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
Importantly, they are dwarf patio versions so they are not going to start taking over your garden like a lot of varieties of Buddleja, and they can be grown in pots and other containers. They come in complementing shades of ivory, magenta, lavender and sky blue, so the mix and match potential is also great.
Another favourite of mine is the Proven Winners® 'Black Pom Pom' Scabiosa commonly known as a 'Pincushion Flower'.
It forms rather impressive landing pads, of rich burgundy pom pom blooms flecked with bright white speckles which give the plant its common name.
They remind us of big fuzzy purple bumblebees, it's no wonder they are a favourite for bees and butterflies.
Finally, Lavender is a plant that never fails to attract bees and butterflies and it flowers for ages, normally from May to October.
The Provencal range of Lavender (or Lavandula as it's sometimes called) all have great pot habits. Lavender smells amazing, so put it in easy to reach places like near the back door that opens out onto the garden, and in places people often walk past so that they brush up against it to release its heavenly scents.