The current spell of sunshine and good weather is bringing our borders to life. Here are 5 bee and butterfly friendly plants guaranteed to create a big buzz in the garden.
1. Hyssop. Hyssopus officinalis
Hyssop is a native of the Mediterranean region where it grows wild in dry banks. This attractive plant likes to be planted in Mediterranean type conditions and will thrive in a sunny position in a well drained soil.
A hardy semi-evergreen perennial that bears blue flowers from summer to early autumn. It has dark green, small, narrow and lance-shaped leaves. Height 80cm, spread 90cm.
2. Lavender. Lavandula ‘Vera’
Lavender is a native of the Mediterranean and is a favourite in many gardens. It is one of the most popular plants in a herb garden and is also useful in borders, edges and in dry gravel gardens.
A hardy evergreen perennial that bears light blue flowers on a medium size spike in summer. It has fairly short, narrow, grey greenish, aromatic leaves. Height 60cm, spread 60cm.
3. Verbena bonariensis
This perennial enjoys a position in full sun and a moderately fertile, well drained soil. It’s upright, wiry and branching stems bear tightly packed clusters of purple flowers from summer through to autumn. Not only will it add style to a border but it is very attractive to butterflies. Height 1.5m, spread 60cm.
4. Salvia x superba
This attractive perennial gives great pleasure with its spires of purple flowers that are in bloom throughout summer. It thrives in a sunny spot in well drained soil, and is perfect for adding blocks of colour to a herbaceous border or a gravel garden planting scheme. It is a magnet for bees and butterflies. Height 45cm, spread 30cm.
5. Oregano. Origanum vulgare
Oregano, also known as Wild Marjoram, thrives in a sunny position, in a well drained soil. Not only is it an essential plant for a culinary herb garden but when it is allowed to flower it is loved by bees and butterflies. A hardy perennial it bears clusters of tiny mauve and pink flowers above dark green aromatic leaves. It flowers throughout summer and into autumn. Height 45cm, spread 45cm.