Today Open: 09:00 to 18:00

Why are pollinators so important?

Why are pollinators so important?

The sight of a flowering plant covered in busily buzzing bees brings joy to any gardener’s heart, and for good reason! Pollinators are essential to the health of our planet, so we need to do all we can to look after them. Here’s the lowdown on why pollinators are important and how to help them.

Why we need pollinators

Pollinators are a vital part of our food system. Without them, we wouldn’t have most of the vegetables and fruit that we eat. This includes things like courgettes, pumpkins, beans, peas, apples, pears, cherries, and strawberries – the list is almost endless. Many plants can’t produce seeds without being pollinated, so without pollinators, there would soon be nothing to eat!

What is pollination?

Before a plant can produce fruit, it needs to be pollinated. This means that pollen has to be transferred from the male part of the flower (the anther) to the female part (the stamen). Some plants, such as sweetcorn, are pollinated by the wind, which blows pollen from anthers to stamens, but most of the plants we eat are pollinated by insects that visit the flowers to collect sweet, energy-rich nectar for food. While getting to the nectar in the heart of the flower, the insects pick up pollen on their bodies, and this gets transferred to the stamens of the next flower they visit, thus pollinating the flower, which can then start to develop into a fruit.

Bees pollitating

Plants to attract pollinators

You can do your bit to help pollinators by planting pollinator-friendly flowers. In return, these helpful insects will boost your harvest by pollinating your fruit and vegetables! Single flowers (those with just one layer of petals) with open centres are better for pollinators than very full double flowers with masses of petals, as it’s easier for the pollinators to reach the nectar at their centres. There’s also evidence to suggest that bees are especially attracted to blue flowers, which tend to be rich in nectar. Umbellifers – plants with flat flowerheads – are very popular with pollinators, and they also attract other beneficial insects like hoverflies and ladybirds, which help to control aphids.

Plants to attract pollinators

Here are a few of the many pollinator-friendly plants that will bring butterflies and bees to your garden:

  • Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’ – golden yellow flowers and purple-green leaves.
  • Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Snowcap’ (shasta daisy) – masses of daisy-like white flowers all summer.
  • Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ (coneflower) – rich red-pink flowers with striking orange-red centres.
  • Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) – fragrant purple flower spikes and aromatic grey-green leaves.
  • Geranium ‘Rozanne’ – abundant blue flowers for months in summer
  • Coriander – flattened flowerheads of tiny white flowers, especially popular with honeybees.
  • Ammi majus (Bishop’s flower) – a gorgeous annual with lacy domes of white flowers on long stems.

Want to bring more pollinators to your garden? Visit our centre, where we have a fantastic range of pollinator-friendly plants to suit every taste!

You might also be interested in:

Kickstart your spring gardening with our top March tips and the latest Boma plant arrivals

Read more...

Welcome to the fascinating world of indoor plants, where greenery meets a myriad of special properties that go beyond mere aesthetics. As we bring the outdoors inside, these botanical companions offer more than just visual delight. Indoor plants are nature's silent marvels, enhancing our well-being and the ambiance of our living spaces. In this exploration, we'll delve into the unique attributes that make indoor plants not just decorations but essential contributors...

Read more...

Transforming your living space into a lush green jungle is not just a design choice; it's a commitment to infusing vitality and tranquillity into your home. In this guide, we'll embark on a journey to create a botanical haven within your four walls. From selecting the right plants to arranging them in harmonious clusters, let's explore how room design with indoor plants can turn your home into a vibrant and refreshing oasis.

...

Read more...

In the world of indoor gardening, the topic of cutting or pruning houseplants often raises questions and uncertainties. Do our leafy companions truly benefit from the occasional trim, or is it an unnecessary intervention? In this exploration, we'll unravel the mysteries surrounding cutting houseplants, understanding the reasons behind this practice and discovering the potential benefits it can bring to the health and aesthetics of our indoor greenery.

...

Read more...