Does your Garden Taste Good?
And why this matters.
Sitting in a garden in Summer watching bees buzz and butterflies flutter is one of life’s great pleasures. Not only is it a pleasure for us to watch (unless you are melissophobic or lepidopterophobic of course!), it is also hugely beneficial to all those insects too!
Bees have to work really hard to find a little nectar, so imagine their delight at flying into a garden that is jam packed with nectar rich flowers.
Sadly, all too often gardens are filled with the more spectacularly coloured modern flowers that are devoid of nectar.
Just imagine the bee, having flown into this incredible spectacle of colour, and finding there is nothing to eat. It’s a bit like walking into a supermarket and finding everything there is either an empty box or a plastic vegetable!
Time for a soapbox moment:
- Gardens aren’t just for use to admire – they are vital sources of food
and shelter for all our native wildlife.
- Flowers did not evolve for humans to enjoy, but most modern flowers are only designed for humans to enjoy.
- Bee use UV light to find flowers – if they can’t see them they won’t find them. (flowers in UV look amazing & utterly different)
- Butterflies taste with their feet – so how good do modern plants taste to a butterfly?
- Many modern flower hybrids contain little or no nectar to feed insects – it has been bred out (in it’s place, brighter colours and more petals).
What is the point of a flower that cannot do what a flower is supposed to do?
At PlantPlots, we firmly believe that gardens should look beautiful, but not at the expense of our native wildlife. Before you head off to the garden centre this spring, please pause for a moment. Ask yourself, is the flower useful and pretty or is it just a pretty face?
We are not advocating that everyone stops buying bedding plants nor indeed boycotts hybrids or highly developed flowers. Instead we are asking that you limit their numbers in your garden.
If 80% of the plants in your garden were nectar rich and easy for bees and butterflies to feed from, there would be plenty of food. It would not matter what the remaining 20% consisted of!
PlantPlots is a new online garden design service with a twist. We provide lots of design recipes for great ‘tasting’ garden borders that are both beautiful AND beneficial. All are available to download.
Now obviously we have posted this article to encourage you to look through our designs (and hopefully buy one..or two!). But even if you are not interested in shopping, we hope you might consider butterflies and bees more when you go out plant buying this year.
After all – who are flowers really for?