Posts Tagged ‘bee plants’

Clematis ‘Wisley Cream’

January 19, 2014

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A plant I mentioned in my January newsletter – currently in flower in my garden. The parent plant – Clematis cirrhosa – is from the Balearics but is perfectly hardy in the UK. A harsh winter might cut it back, but it would recover. There are several other varieties, such as the ever-popular ‘Freckles’, with maroon-speckled flowers – but I prefer the plain cream one that I grow.

Clematis are supposed to be good bee plants, though I have not noticed any, or indeed any other pollinating insects. Possibly an extended mild period is necessary before they become active. Unlike the later, more flamboyant clematis, this is a plant of subtle, subdued charm. Any necessary pruning can be done in spring, just after flowering.

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Ivy flowers

October 2, 2009

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.