Category Archives: bees & other insects

How to Make Seed-filled Bombs That Bloom Into Flowers for Bees, Insects and Other Wildlife

Dropping bombs is the sweetest, most gentle kind of revenge we can take for the savage treatment of our flora-rich roadside verges. Our gardens are brimming with ripe seeds, so it’s time to get vengeful – with flowers. By John Walker. Originally … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: TEASEL – A Striking and Spiky Wild Plant That Benefits Bees and Butterflies in Summer, then Seed-eating Birds During Autumn and Winter

Teasel Dipsacus fullonum Other names: brushes and combs; Venus’ basin. Life cycle: Biennial Only treat teasel as a ‘weed’ if it interferes with your gardening as it has many positive benefits. In late summer plants reach 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) tall and are topped … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: BORAGE – A Prolific Self-seeding Plant Which Can Swamp its Neighbours, But is a Big Hit With Bees and Other Insects

Borage Borago officinalis Life cycle: annual/biennial Grown as a herb, this prolific self-seeder has escaped in many gardens and should be treated as a weed, except for any plants which you want to allow to develop and flower throughout the summer. … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: DANDELION – Let Some Wet-a-Beds Bloom to Provide Vital Food for Bees and Insects in Early Spring

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Other names: pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, blow balls Life cycle: perennial Dandelion’s deep taproot must be dug or forked out and older plants, with very deep roots, may need several attempts. However, dandelion doesn’t spread sideways, so I let a few … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: HOGWEED or COW PARSNIP – A Big, Tall Weed Whose Flowers Are a Magnet for Bees, Hoverflies and Other Beneficial Garden Insects

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium Other names: cow parsnip, keck, limberscrimps Life cycle: biennial/perennial Often seen on roadsides, this tough, taprooted weed can be difficult to remove if it gets a foothold in beds or borders. Leafy rosettes of deeply lobed leaves … Continue reading

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Make Your Own Easy, Cost-free Biodiversity-Boosting ‘Insect Hotels’ For Your Garden or Allotment and Encourage Wild Solitary Bees and Pest-eating Wasps to Live and Nest There

Media buzz about bee conservation can have a real and positive effect, but virtual wildlife gardening only goes so far. I wanted a more immediate way of boosting wild bee (and wasp) populations on my own, real-life patch, so I … Continue reading

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