Bee-pleasers


Bees are never far away from aromatic plants because they often produce blue flowers, the favoured flower colour of bees. The nectar is super-strength too, containing masses of sugar to lure in the bee and butterfly, so here are some bee loving plants to include in your garden.

Thymus ‘Silver Posie’ is a marvellous edger to a hot spot with tiny pink flowers held above even tinier cream and green leaves. The sage is another suspect, and the purple-leaved sage, Salvia officinalis ’Purpurascens’, has damson coloured foliage that deepens to almost black in hot summers along with deep blue flowers. This will add depth to any silvery border and you can use this sage in cooking.

You should also include Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’ because this August-flowering perennial will lure in every bee and butterfly with its sugar-packed nectar. The two-tone flowers are a cool pink set in purple and the slender stems contain lots of individual flowers that stay looking fresh - whatever the weather. The slightly crinkled, dark green foliage supports the wands of flower well and a lacy, black seed head follows. It rarely throws seedlings, a bonus because most marjorams and origanums tend to be a little too generous on that front.

Once established these aromatic plants will never need watering, saving precious resources and time. In return you’ll get the buzz of bees, showers of butterflies and a swathe of silver to soften summer.