If you’re like me, you love nothing more than sitting outside in the sunshine and admiring the garden and the beautiful flowers that flourish and bloom within it. You may even catch me talking to the plants and trees as I congratulate and encourage them on their growth throughout the season. I’m not crazy, honestly, but it’s something I enjoy and do you know what makes it better? When those plants and trees I nurture so much are visited and enjoyed by bees too!
When it comes to attracting bees to my garden, I’m not going to proclaim I’m any sort of expert, but I do know which plants they absolutely adore in mine. It’s from my own experience which I’m going to share with you today. We’re not talking plants that attract a bee every now and again but instead plants that bees absolutely love!
Top Bee-Friendly Plants in the UK
We’ve had our French Lavender bush for a few years now and it never fails to attract the bees. With its little purple flowers congregated in a bud-type shape, the evergreen shrub is really easy to maintain and the bees can’t get enough. The lavender variant I have blooms quite early in the season, around April/May, so if you want to give the bees a hardy plant to enjoy then lavender is an ideal choice.
There’s many varieties of lavender to choose from so is best to do your research before deciding which one to buy for your garden. Our lavender is planted in a pot and brings a beautiful touch of purple of the garden with its prime spot in the sun.
A lavender bush’s flowers are also often used as a natural remedy for treating skin irritations such as acne and psoriasis. The distillation of the flowers results in the lavender oil used in fragrances.
If you’re looking for a tree with bee appeal, then you’ll do fine with the Alder Buckthorn tree. This species of tree is rather easy to grow and can do well in a pot or into the garden soil with it growing relative to the size of its environment (it’ll stay small enough and manageable in a garden pot).
The Alder Buckthorn tree is probably the go-to favourite of bees in my garden having counted seven bees on it at once sampling its floral delights. Bees absolutely love its flowers!
Around end of April/ beginning of May time, the Alder Buckthorn sprouts small, white flowers which quickly attracts bees. These petite flowers last for eight weeks or so until their petals fall off and berries begin to grow and mature. The berries can be a favourite of birds, so this is an ideal tree to encourage the birds and bees to your garden. The flowers are small, but they tend to be numerous with a long bloom season.
Borage is a flowering herb that at first may remind you of a weed (least it did me). With its big, hairy leaves and stems, it’s a peculiar plant that is very easy to grow but its pièce de résistance are the purple/blue flowers it blooms.
Often referred to as the Starflower due to the pointed shape of its flower’s petals, Borage originates from the Mediterranean but has no problems growing here in the UK, especially in the sun. Borage leaves are edible and some couple them with Pimms, saying that the leaves and flowers provided a cucumber-like taste. I’ve yet to try them myself and probably won’t but the bees love the flowers!
What I really like about the Borage herb is that I managed to take it from seed to bloom in about two and a half months, planting the seeds toward the end of April. This is probably the fastest turnaround I have ever had with a plant from seed, and seeing the beautiful flowers bloom is just magical.
What flowers do you recommend that bees love? Leave a comment below.