Flying insects such as bees and hoverflies perform a vitally important service. Some flowering plants are pollinated by the wind but the majority rely on pollination by insects and without this plants would fail to produce seeds and, in some cases, fruit.

Beautiful Bulbs
Planting for Pollinators
The Welsh Government estimate the value of pollution service to the UK economy to be over £430 million per year. Our wild bees and other pollinators are in decline due to pesticides, disease and loss of habitat. By planting nectar and pollen rich flowers throughout the seasons, we can help reduce this trend and even the smallest area can make a real and practical difference. For details of the   Welsh Government's Pollinator Action Plan, click here. The Royal Horticultural Society produce several lists of pollinator-friendly garden plants, wildflowers and plants of the world as well as advice about attracting and supporting pollinating insects.

For more ways to get involved check out some of our favourite organisations and projects:

Amazing AnnualsSuper Shrubs

 

 

 

 



Bees
In the UK, there are 24 species of bumblebee but only eight are commonly found in most places. According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust most of these species have declined greatly in recent years, and two have become extinct in the UK since 1940.
Beekeeping
The National Beekeeping Centre Wales provides advice on how your garden can provide an oasis for pollinators throughout the year and information about bees and bee-keeping. Further information, and links to courses, events and 19 local Bee-keeping Associations, is provided by the Wales Beekeeping Association. The British Beekeepers Association also produces a free downloadable list of plants to plant by season as well as a guide to honeybees and pesticides.


How to make a home for bees:
Making your own bee house is very simple, easy and fun. A house for solitary bees can be made out of recycled materials, and placed anywhere, irrespective of whether you live in the city or country.
Bee Flower

What can I plant in my garden?
Planting a range of nectar-rich shrubs, perennials and annuals to offer a constant supply of nectar from early spring to late autumn will attract bumblebees - and all sorts of other wonderful pollinating insects, such as butterflies, honeybees and hoverflies - to your patch. Little Green Space has compiled a list of the best plants for bees.




Bugs
Invertebrates might be small but this makes them some of the easiest animals to accommodate and their roles as pollinators and decomposers are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Even just filling an upside-down plant pot with dead leaves provides shelter for a variety of insects. The Wildlife Trusts and Royal Horticultural Society recommend combining a few methods to create a bug mansion, detailed instructions can be found on their Wild About Gardens website.
Bug Life Bug Hotel
How to make a home for bugs:
This bug house wild flower planter by the Wildlife Gadgetman Jason Alexander is a great solution to paved gardens and provides a perfect place to sow some of your Grow Wild wildflower seeds

What can I plant in my garden?



Butterflies
Butterfly Conservation state that 4 butterflies and over 60 moths became extinct during the last century. Three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline and many moths are also facing an uncertain future.
Tortoiseshell 2 200 150
The 56 species in Britain and Ireland are under threat today from unprecedented environmental change. Butterflies and moths have been recognised by the Government as indicators of biodiversity. Their fragility makes them quick to react to change so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment.

Habitats have been destroyed on a massive scale, since the 1940s 97% of wildflower meadows have been destroyed, and now patterns of climate and weather are shifting unpredictably in response to pollution of the atmosphere but the disappearance of these beautiful creatures is more serious than just a loss of colour in the countryside. 
Common _Blue _(Polyommatus _icarus)
How to make a home for butterflies:

  • Butterflies like warmth so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar plants.
  • Choose different plants to attract a wider variety of species. Place the same types of plant together in blocks.
  • Try to provide flowers right through the butterfly season. Spring flowers are vital for butterflies coming out of hibernation and Autumn flowers help butterflies build up their reserves for winter.
  • Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, mulching with organic compost, and watering well to keep the plants healthy. Plants that are well-watered will produce far more nectar for hungry butterflies.
  • Don't use insecticides and pesticides. They kill butterflies and many pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders.
  • Don't buy peat compost. Peat bogs are home to many special animals and plants, including the Large Heath butterfly, which is declining across Europe. There are now good alternatives available from garden centres. 

What can I plant in my garden?