Earlier this month the Independent asked us to recommend ten growing containers for its readers. Alongside garden classics such as troughs, hanging baskets and strawberry planters we discovered a more unusual pot – one designed specifically for bees.
The ‘beepot’ is the creation of Cornish business Green and Blue, a weighty block of handmade concrete that looks great for gardeners and even better for solitary bees. An arrangement of different sized holes provide suitable accommodation for our buzzing buddies, while the big hole next door can be filled with a bee friendly plant, making it a short journey to top up on pollen-based snacks. As Green and Blue describe it: a perfectly formed Bee&B.
So, what to plant in it? If you’re keen to help provide nourishment for our declining solitary bee population then here are five fabulous feasts that will grow in this, or any other, garden pot.
Five container plants for bees
An attractive plant with a magnificent fragrance and heads packed with tiny bee friendly flowers, this is why our own beepot has been planted up with lavender. Admittedly it doesn’t look particularly attractive right now but the photo features a cutting that has just come through its first winter. Give it a few months and it’ll look magnificent.
Most herbs are perfectly suited to pots and if they’re covered with flowers in the summer the bees will love them. Thyme is as good as it gets in the herb world, just don’t fight the bees for the best pickings…
With loads of colours and varieties to choose from it’s easy find a sedum that will appeal to you and the bees. The flower riot of ‘Purple Emperor’ is a particularly good choice that will attract numerous insects and butterflies to your garden.
The blooming spikes of the agastache (or giant hyssop) provide a vertical dose of floral goodness for bees and butterflies. ‘Blue Fortune’ is a particularly fine example with lots of lilac tinged flowers packed onto each stem.
It may be known as ‘Butterfly Blue’, but this variety of plant is a hit with bees too. Wild and windswept looking, spindly stems somehow support flat, round heads that are riddled with delicate flowers throughout summer, sure to lure even the laziest bee from his cosy nest.