Ivy flowers

I’m very keen on ivies. We’re always recommending them for shady walls and dry soil under trees, where few other plants will grow, and it’s easy to think that these are there only uses.

But many are beautiful in their own right – in a quiet way. That apart, an unsuspected value becomes apparent at this time of year – as a bee plant. They will be flowering over the next few weeks, and on mild, sunny days between now and November you will see them alive with bees, as there are few other food sources available.

Ivy flowers are a great nectar source for honey bees

Ivy flowers are a great nectar source for honey bees

That’s a strong argument against clipping ivies too closely over summer. If bees are really in decline, as we have been told from time to time this year, we should grow as many plants to sustain them as possible.

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