Let’s LOVE wildflowers this valentine’s! At Seedball we’re all about the ‘birds and bees’ this Valentine’s Day, here’s what you can grow to share the love with wildlife that can be found in your garden.
It’s time to think about planting up your garden to give wildlife a valentine’s day that lasts all year. Think like a bee and make planting decisions based on what will attract them to your garden. Nectar-rich flowers like Red and White Clover, Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus cornicultatus), Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare) and Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) will draw bees in as they fly over.
Bees are not just looking for nectar, they need pollen too, it’s their protein! Flowers with large pollen-laden stamens like bramble, wild rose, mallow and poppy are all great for this. Watch out for a bit of buzz-pollination going on if you see a bumblebee inside one of these – they vibrate their bodies by buzzing to knock the pollen off.
Lovely tall flowering plants like Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and Comfrey are adored by bumblebees and once a bee has found yours they will be back to visit each day. Flowers with large open faces like daisies or umbellifers such as Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) and Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) will attract lots of other lovely pollinators like the Thick-legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis) with his swollen thighs or Batman hoverfly (Myathropa florea) sporting the iconic superheroes mask on his back.
Remember your lawn can provide lots of nectar too, simply leaving your grass to grow for the month of May can feed ten times as many bees as a mown lawn.
And the marvellous thing about all these insects is they in turn really help support lots of other wildlife. Bats, birds and many mammals such as hedgehogs all need insects to feed on.
Butterflies will love visiting too and often lay their eggs on wildflowers as the food source for their very hungry offspring. Caterpillars in turn attract birds, who can eat over 300 in a single day, especially when they are feeding their young, as caterpillars are the main food for chicks in the nest.
So why not make a decision now to grow the love wildly this Valentines by sowing wildflowers with us.
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