However, all is not lost and we gardeners can play a big part giving a helping hand to these insects. We do not need a large garden, a pot will do.
Here is a step by step guide in 3 easy stages.
- Fill 2/3 of the pot (any container with drainage will do) with compost .This should be peat free because peat bogs are important habitats for many species including the rare Large Heath butterfly.
- Add your plant or selection of plants (see below). When you are happy with the planting, top up the pot with more compost and firm them in gently.
- Finally place your pot for pollinators in a sunny spot and water and feed regularly.
An unusual pot on your front doorstep might generate enough interest from the neighbours that you can persuade them to join in. Your street could become a super highway for pollinators.
The plants below are widely available from supermarkets and garden centres and please do not forget the plant stall at next month's Flower Show.
- single series dahlia
- alyssum (various colours)
If possible plant a pot with a Pieris. A suitable one is Pieris japonica Valley Valentine. This is an all year rounder. Its glossy evergreen foliage emerges coppery red and then in March/April, the swaying clusters of deep red flowers open, each tiny bell sparked with white at the base. A magnet for early bees and insects .
Perfumed flowers like Nicotiana with their evening scent are wonderful for moths and other night flying insects.
If possible keep the pots flowering from early spring to late autumn, remembering to dead head and replacing with seasonal plants. Remember that plants in pots will need more water and when watering aim for the soil not the plant. Avoid watering when the sun is strongest.
As usual this is just to whet your appetite and I hope it will result in Frenchay becoming a bee friendly village.