Book Review: Plants and Planting Plans for a Bee Garden

We’ve been out in the garden this afternoon enjoying the glorious spring weather we are having. Because I am so proud of them, I can’t resist sharing a picture of our lovely boys in the sunshine…

IMG_1815

It’s a slightly fake cuddle – all posed for the camera!

Elsewhere in the garden, there’s not much in flower just now – working on getting colour and interest in the garden all year round is very much an ongoing task.. There’s lots of potential though, and some little glimpses of colour here and there. I grabbed an Aubretia to brighten up our gabions when I was at the garden centre on Saturday. It looks very happy already (apart from the nibbled bit):

Aubretia

I think these are Anemones, but I am ashamed to say I can’t remember without popping downstairs to check the packet:
Mystery bulbs

And the Snake’s Head Fritillaries that my dad planted are looking beautiful:

Snake's Head Fritillary
The garden is heaving with ladybirds – I hope that means that I am going to have less greenfly and other pests this year! I love having a garden full of wildlife, bees buzzing, hover flies hovering, butterflies fluttering… and as I learn more about gardening I realise that if you want to make your garden into a wildlife haven, it’s important to do some planning. So that’s why I was delighted when the nice people at Spring Hill sent a copy of Plants and Planting Plans for a Bee Garden by Maureen Little for me to review.

This is a smashing book which provides you with everything you need to know about encouraging bees into your garden. We all know how important bees are to our life on earth, and how they’ve been threatened lately, so doing everything we can to encourage them is so important.

Bee garden book

As you can see, the subtitle of the book is How to design beautiful borders that will attract bees, and I have to confess that this put me off ever so slightly – it sounded a bit daunting. I never really think of myself of designing anything much in the garden – there are just certain plants and colours that attract me and I buy them! But actually, these border plans are very achievable (we’re not talking Sissinghurst here!), and have made me realise that it’s worth putting some thought into my plant buying, especially if I am serious about providing a happy home for all kinds of bees.

There are loads of gorgeous pictures of the different flowers that are particularly attractive to bees, and some very practical ideas about how to create a garden of all-season-round interest to them (and to you!). Maureen Little provides general design advice, as well as specific designs for borders in different styles (cottage, designer, traditional, colour-themed and more). The book is comprehensively indexed, so if you are looking for information on a particular plant or want particular advice, it’s really easy to find what you’re looking for.  It’s also very well written – the author’s style is engaging as well as being informative and I soon felt full of enthusiasm and ready for another trip down to the garden centre. And maybe this time I will go equipped with a plan and a list! If you’re an enthusiastic wildlife gardener, this is definitely something to think about adding to your library.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Plants and Planting Plans for a Bee Garden

  1. That is such a gorgeous photo of your boys, posed or not. The only pose I’m likely to get is what we call their ‘Elmer Fudd’, scrunched up faces with mock fist shaking!

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