Here is a selection of what we have observed to be the best melliferous or most bee-friendly perennials.
A little note
Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by glands known as nectaries, which are usually located at the base of the perianth. It it the primary constituent of honey.
Pollen, a flower's fertilizing male element, is produced by the stamens. It is rich in proteins and vitamins and is a constituent of royal jelly.
Melliferous plants naturally exist in thousands of specimens and because they spread so prolifically they can produce a honey flow.
In the garden, melliferous plants contribute to maintaining biodiversity which is good for all pollinating insects. Bees, butterflies, syrphid and hoverflies, paper wasps, black ants, bee-flies, Eucera, carpenter-bees, bumblebees, etc.
Melliferous plants are living showcases, real observatories of the micro-worlds in our gardens.
An apiary in the nursery!
As a child, I used to marvel at the fascinating beauty of bee colonies. So a few years later, I took the plunge and built a dozen beehives in the nursery.
What an adventure! From bringing in wild swarms to installing the first colonies, every visit to the hives is still filled with marvel and I now understand why bee-keepers love their bees!
A cloud of small soft pink pompoms from late summer until the first frost.from £3.99
A variety produced by the garden of Princess Greta£4.29
A japanese asterfrom £3.99
Very free flowering from August to November, with little blue daisy stars, 1 to 2 cm in diameter.£3.99
Soft pink blooms that turn white.from £3.99
Very free flowering from August to November, with little mauve blue blooms, 1 to 2 cm in diameter.£3.99
White aster or heath aster£3.99
Always a favourite!from £3.99
To liven up those tired, end-of-summer days.from £3.99
Its strong, rounded shape makes it an excellent choice to edge a perennial bed.from £3.99