Bee trying to land on a pink flower.

What to Plant in Your Garden to Help the Bees

When to plant: Autumn and spring.

At its best: Summer.

Time to complete: 3 hours to complete; 4 hours to plant.

You will need: Spade, fork, well-rotted organic matter – such as manure.

Plants you could use: Lupinus ‘The Governor’, Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’, Anchusa azurea ‘Loddon Royalist’, Achillea ‘Moonshine’, Rosa ‘Rose of Picardy’, Verbascum ‘Gainsborough’.

Prepare to plant

In autumn, weed the border carefully. Then dig it thoroughly, incorporating plenty of organic matter. Plant the Pittosporum and roses in autumn so that they can become established the following spring.

Plant the perennials

In spring, buy the perennials (Achillea, Anchusa, lupins, and Verbascum). Position them in swathes of color running between the shrubs, then plant.


Water well after planting, and regularly for the first year. In spring, prune the roses and support taller–growing plants. In late winter, cut back the old perennial stems to be ready for new spring growth.

Plants to attract insects

Bugs may not all be beautiful but the beneficial kinds are essential to the environment. They not only pollinate flowers, ensuring good crops, but some, such as ladybugs and hoverfly larvae, also help keep pests at bay. Plant annuals, like sweet alyssum and viper’s bugloss, or perennial Shasta daisies, asters, bee balm, and ice plants to welcome these insect allies. Shrubs, such as hebe, roses, lavender, and honeysuckle, will also help lure them in.