Category Archives: bees & other insects

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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