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Plants for pollinators

Quick post as I am still on chicken coop duty, chief painter and trying to get a flower bed prepped for wild flowers. Saw one bumble yesterday as weather warm nut as yet flowers sparse.

But a question for you, for all you gardeners. I have a criteria:

  • Plants to grow to a maximum height of eight feet and need pruning each year as I need greens for compost.
  • Has flowers that pollinators will love and ideally a mix that flower through the whole seasonal year including late autumn for bees to feed up for winter bed time.
  • Plants that produce late autumn and early winter seed heads for wildlife.
  • Shrubs with berries (animal edible ones).

The placement is in front of tree area to create shade in forest and in front will be a herb garden. The shrubs are to act as a divide between the two. The raggedy hawthorns are going. Great berries but they put up suckers and are vicious scratchers at pruning time.

I really don’t like azaleas, rhododendrons or camelias as too formal. Want to keep the garden more riotous with a slightly more wild look with wild flowers, herbs, grasses and plants like sweet peas, lupins and other country garden characters.

But the shrub section needs to be shade giving, have tasty pollen giving flowers and berries, maybe suitable for chickens too as a treat.

We do want a few fruit trees..a cherry, apple and a plumb. As a child my mother’s garden had a crab apple which the birds loved.

Going to delve into my garden books over summer, but you might have some wonderful plant ideas from experience. And maybe ideas for shrubs that just make great foliage for composting.

At the moment we have a wood pile. Birds love pecking for bugs in the rotting timber but I have to live here too so it has to go. Most being used to make fire or outdoor bits and bobs. Today a chicken swing is on the cards.

Anyway ideas and inspiration welcome. Best list will get their name inscribed on the “Bee Hotel” as benefactor!

9 thoughts on “Plants for pollinators

    1. Today I made a Frankenstein’s monster of a swing. Chickens ignored it but my husband loved it’s “uniqueness”. Unique isn’t chicken fun apparently, so tomorrow a more conventional affair being rigged up from the new roof. I think my girls didn’t have a very exciting start in life and need some enthusiastic coaxing. But my swing is staying put and who knows it might end up being loved by one chicken with a sense of craft!

      1. I think I need to see a picture of this! 😀 We are just starting our first brood of chickens (they’re about 4 weeks old at this point, so still inside the house, in their brooder box) and are planning our coop/run for them once they’re a bit older!

  1. Doesn’t have berries, but buddleia? I prune mine late winter. Or a species rose with hips? Rosa rugosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’ or Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’? Amelanchiers and crabapples have 4 seasons of interest, but you wouldn’t want to prune them. I also love wild plums.

  2. We have an elderberry bush on our property that is absolutely massive – we believe it’s grown so high to escape the deer and bears that have attacked its bottom branches. We pruned it in late fall / early winter and it was about 10 feet tall at that point. Not sure how “normal” that is – I couldn’t believe it! We’ve only been here a year and a half, so I’m not sure what the story is, how long it’s been there, etc. But we harvested the berries in fall (left some for the birds, and the bears did come along and try to pull down some of the branches). The elderberry tincture my husband made was divine!!

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