GCR takes a look at the top 9 plants for pollinators.
Chrysanthemum ‘Lucy’ (29a)
Chrysanthemum are erect woody-based perennials with aromatic, pinnately lobed leaves and flowerheads of diverse form, from late summer to late autumn. Anemone-flowered, early flowering Outdoor Spray chrysanthemums are upright perennials with branched stems each bearing several flowerheads with a central boss of short florets, surrounded by larger outer florets.
‘Lucy’ is a cultivar that reaches 90cm in height. It flowers early, in late summer to early autumn, bearing sprays of anemone-style flowers with yellow centres and pale pink florets.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Cut Flowers.
Aquilegia ‘Hensol Harebell’
columbine ‘Hensol Harebell’
Aquilegia are clump-forming herbaceous perennials with long-stalked, ternately divided basal leaves and erect, leafy stems bearing bell-shaped flowers with spreading, coloured sepals and petals with spurs, on branched stems. ‘Hensol Harebell’ is an erect herbaceous perennial to 90cm, with divided leaves tinted purple in late summer, and nodding, rich violet-blue flowers 5cm wide, with short, hooked spurs.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Low Maintenance; Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs; City & Courtyard Gardens; Cottage & Informal Garden.
Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’
Solidago are woody-based perennials, some invasive, with erect stems bearing narrow leaves and terminal panicles or racemes of small yellow flowers in summer and autumn.
‘Fireworks’ is a slowly clump-forming, non-invasive, cultivar. It flowers in late summer through to autumn. Its sprays of tiny yellow flowers are held in finer wands than many of its more densely-flowered relatives.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Cut Flowers; Cottage & Informal Garden; Prairie Planting; Wildlife Gardens.
Eschscholzia can be annuals or perennials, with finely divided leaves and solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange or red flowers, followed by conspicuous long seed-pods.
E. californica is a vigorous bushy, spreading annual to 30cm, with finely divided blue-green leaves and orange, yellow or red flowers to 7cm across in summer.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Cut Flowers; Cottage & Informal Garden; Gravel Garden; Rock Garden; Coastal.
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Gazebo White’
Cosmos can be annuals or perennials with simple or pinnately divided leaves and large, long-stalked daisy-like flowers in summer.
‘Gazebo White’ is a bushy, relatively compact half-hardy annual, to around 70cm tall, with finely-divided, green leaves. Large, white flowers are borne throughout the summer and into early autumn, on erect, well-branched stems.
BEST USE: Cut Flowers; Flower borders and beds; Cottage & Informal Garden; Patio & Container Plants.
Salvia microphylla ‘Kew Red’
baby sage ‘Kew Red’
Salvia can be annuals, biennials, herbaceous or evergreen perennials, or shrubs. They have paired, simple or pinnately lobed, often aromatic leaves and 2-lipped flowers in whorls, forming simple or branched spikes or racemes.
‘Kew Red’ is a bushy sub-shrub with aromatic, ovate leaves and two-lipped crimson flowers 2.5cm in length, in racemes to 10cm in length, in late summer and autumn.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Wall-side Borders; Mediterranean Climate Plants; Coastal.
Fuchsia can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs or trees, rarely perennials, with opposite or whorled leaves and usually pendent flowers with conspicuous tubular calyx, 4 spreading sepals and 4 erect petals.
‘Wharfedale’ is a vigorous, bushy shrub with single flowers which have pale pink swept back sepals and a bright purple corolla.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Hedging & Screens; City & Courtyard Gardens; Coastal; Cottage & Informal Garden; Patio & Container Plants.
Allium are bulbous herbaceous perennials with a strong onion or garlic scent, linear, strap-shaped or cylindrical basal leaves and star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in an umbel on a leafless stem.
A. schoenoprasum is a bulbous perennial forming a clump of erect narrowly cylindrical, onion-scented leaves, with rounded umbels of light purple bell-shaped flowers.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Cottage & Informal Garden; Patio & Container Plants
Calamintha are pleasantly aromatic perennials with ovate leaves and loose clusters of small, 2-lipped flowers in summer and autumn in the axils of the upper leaves.
C. nepeta is a compact, bushy perennial, to 60cm tall, with aromatic, ovate grey-green leaves. Loose clusters of tiny, up to 1cm, tubular, two-lipped white or pale lilac flowers are borne from summer into early autumn.
BEST USE: Flower borders and beds; Ground Cover; Low Maintenance; Drought Resistant; Cottage & Informal Garden; City & Courtyard Gardens; Gravel Garden.