Top 10 Clematis to attract butterflies and bees into your garden
PUT THIS IN YOUR GARDEN NOTEBOOK: Bees love a varied menu! Since when do we sit and munch on the same meal day-in day-out? Never you say?! Well….neither do bees! That’s why Taylor’s Clematis are a company that have literally thought of everything when it comes to catering for our most precious pollinators.
Bees are rapidly declining – make no mistake about that! And don’t just look at the person sitting next to you for an excuse whilst you read this – YOU as an individual are just as responsible as the next when it comes to considering how to contribute to conservation. We want to motivate people from all walks of life to do their bit for conservation and what’s better – it’s not even hard to do! Tweaking your garden ever so slightly to embrace a more wildlife-friendly approach to life is so simple and affordable, you will be kicking yourself for not making the changes sooner! If bees weren’t enough to worry about, we also have many other species of winged insect to consider when it comes to taking care of pollination in the garden. Hoverflies, moths, butterflies, beetles and solitary bees to name but a few!
So let’s take a little look at the Clematis and how we can plant a varied selection of this beautiful plant species, to accommodate different insect pollinators at different times of the year.
Start with Pamela Jackman from the Alpina selection. Renowned not only for its eye-catching beauty, this plant is perfect for bees at the beginning of the year when they’re establishing their nests. As a strong grower, this resilient plant can withstand harsh external conditions too – perfect for our problematic UK weather.
Maybe try Pink Flamingo for a little contrast amongst your bee-loving purple plants. This species of Clematis produces large quantities of flower during Spring time and looks beautiful too!
Stolwijk Gold is, as its name suggests a gold-leafed species with beautifully elegant pale blue flowers that droop their petals in a downward fashion. This variety is quite versatile in that it can be planted inside a pot or in a semi-shaded location on the ground depending on your growing conditions – perfect if you have limited space in your garden but still want to keep the bees and butterflies swarming in.
With angelic paper-like petals, the White Columbine Clematis from the Alpina family flowers in Spring time forming a luxurious fluffy white seed head and adds the perfect contrast against your pink and purple combinations. The velvety yellow centres of the plant look perfect in the sunshine.
The captivating Purple Spider plant from the Macropetela variety is an exquisite form which looks ultra-sophisticated in any given garden. More importantly, it attracts both bees, butterflies and flowers a little later in Spring time to keep those hungry bees supplied with food whilst they bear their young.
Markhams Pink is a hassle-free Clematis – no pruning required! Adding a strong contrast in tone compared to that of the Purple Spider, this species is incredibly versatile and can be used to lighten the tone found in darker areas of the garden.
Add Arabella to your garden for a plant that will provide pollen to insect pollinators when it is needed during the later months of May and June. Like the bell-shapes Clematis variety, this flower caters for bees at a time when they are looking for a fat source to stock up for hibernation.
Clematis Propertius is a new pink and white variety in a beautiful upside-down flower. An almost iridescent white trim around the edge of each petal only adds to its charming appeal. Butterflies, bees and many other flies find this a welcoming plant to sit on and feed.
Harlow Carr is a non-clinging species and one which does not grow very tall thus is ideal for patios and terraces. The deep purple hue of this species attracts bees in particular but also provides a wonderful landing opportunity for butterflies too.
Our personal favourite from the list has to be Clematis Amber. This is a very unusual colour to find in the Clematis species and also has some slight pink tones on the back of the sepals. We currently have two of these growing away in our own garden, and we will be sure to purchase many more like this amazing variety. This is a newly released clematis and will be launching at the Chelsea flower show on the 24th to 28 May 2016.
Remember – a wonderful combination of textures, colours and structures will create a haven for your bees and butterflies. The more species of Clematis you grow in your garden, the more species of insect pollination you get to appreciate in your garden. Follow our simple guide to increasing your wildlife visitors to your garden and watch your outdoor space come alive with activity. There is nothing more relaxing than the subtle buzz of the humble bumble bee among your colourful flowers, or the racing wings of the hoverfly as it dances from one flower to the next. With so many Clematis species to choose from you can’t go wrong when it comes to providing a wildlife-friendly garden for all your favorite birds and insect pollinators. Once you garden begins to come alive with colour and texture, it’s hard to avoid spreading the Spring cheer and inspiring other neighbors to do more of the same!
To become a pro at conservation-friendly measures in the garden, it’s key to consider all of the other important factors in pollination in order to achieve the right balance. Bear in mind that those winged-insects that are attracted to your plants for pollen and nectar, are also feeding from a selection of other food sources such as small aphids and other garden pests – so it pays to understand the harmful effects of pest control chemicals. As a number one rule – avoid these at all costs. Bug houses and butterfly huts also provide vital shade from the sun and protection from harsher weather conditions. A place to stop and rest allows insect pollinators to do their job better!
Good luck and please do remember to show us the results of your beautiful Clematis species. It’s great to share ideas and encourage others to transform their gardens into wildlife-friendly habitats in a number of inventive and exciting ways!
Taylor’s Clematis have kindly given our readers and followers on social media a 10% discount from any order from their website. They really do have an amazing range of Clematis available. Please do check their website for more information.