I may have many other ‘favourite’ plants beside these, but these three are if you like, my favourite of favourites for being utterly lovely, attracting bees and many, many other insects and they need as many as we can possibly provide for them.
Spring us just about upon us and many of us will be busy planning and planting in the coming weeks. To feed as many bees and other insects please include these three lovely members of the apiaciae family (previously known as umbellifers):
Fennel – the herb rather than the vegetable. I have large clumps along a path and the plants are literally buzzing through the summer.
Carrot has the most remarkable number of individual flowers on each head and is incredibly beautiful. For flowers this year, plant a carrot, for flowers next year sow some seed and leave the plants over the winter, they won’t die!
Flat leafed parsley – plants purchased this year may be in either their first or their second year of growth; if they don’t flower this year, leave them in to do so next year. Seeds sown this year will flower next year. If you let even one plant go to seed as I did in this border you will eventually have an absolute mass of plants all flowering together which is one of the most loveliest sights I have ever seen.
Flat leafed parsley in flower
There are lots of other plants in this family which are all similarly attractive to bees and other insects. Early in the year there is sweet cicely and angelica which can be sown this year for flowering next year. I should have seeds of both to spare from my plants later on this spring or summer – leave a comment for me if you would like some.