Gardening with wildflowers – photo gallery

I love gardening with wildflowers. They have been growing here for thousands of years and insects have developed with them, they are interconnected. Here some examples of wildflowers I grow in the pollinator garden

Meadow cranesbill – Geranium pratense – provides nectar and some pollen

Meadow crane'sbill

Rampion bell-flower, a rare plant in the Netherlands and declining. Small solitary bees in the Chelostoma family need Campanula pollen to feed their young. I love this elegant plant.

Rampion Bellflower

Wild mignonette, Reseda lutea, one of the best plants for bees in my garden. A good source of pollen for many species such as Bombus lapidarius. It flowers for a long time. Some stem nesting bees (Hylaeus) love this plant too.

Bombus lapidarius feeding on reseda lutea

Geranium pyrenaicum has very small flowers but it flowers for a long time and you will always see bees gathering nectar. A lovely garden plant.

geranium pyrenaicum

Greater knapweed, Centaurea scabiosa, a very ornamental and beautiful wildflower. Offers both pollen and nectar, a true magnet for bumblebees.

Greater knapweed

Often Ox-eye daisies are not considered good plants for bees but this is not true; as the small amount of nectar is easily accessible, it will attract smaller solitary bees, hoverflies. Honeybees and bumblebees do not often visit this plant in my garden. Here you see a digger wasp on the flower.

Ox-ey daisy with digger wasp

Viper’s bugloss – one of the best plants for the bee garden and a beautiful plant. Offers lots of pollen and nectar.

Slangekruid  Viper's Bugloss

White bryony flowers for a long time and offers both nectar and pollen. In my garden it was very popular with honeybees last year and many solitary bees and bumblebees. These are the male flowers which are larger than the female flowers, which grow on different plants.

Solitary bee gathering pollen on whity bryony

Pollen is needed to raise young bees. Pollen contains certain amino acids but only some of them. There is no single plant that provides pollen that contains all necessary amino acids. By providing a variety of flowers, you offer bees a variety of food and you will provide them with all amino acids to raise healthy young bees.

About mybiodiversitygarden

Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology and biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife
This entry was posted in Bees, Biodiversity, biodiversity, conservation, Gardening, Gardening for wildlife, Nature, pollination, wild flowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Gardening with wildflowers – photo gallery

  1. solarbeez says:

    Is the Viper’s Bugloss an Echium? If so, I can vouch for how it attracts the bees. I sure wish I had your knowledge as to what the bees get on different flowers. How do you pronounce it…is it “bug-loss” or “bu-gloss?”
    The scabiosa is a big hit also. I’ve gotten some decent close up video of bees getting nectar which I’ll post later.
    We were taught in bee class that dandilion contained 9 of the 10 most essential amino acids. It grows wild in people’s yards, giving them a good excuse not to mow as often.

    • Yes, it is Echium vulgare in Latin. It is supposed to be pronounced as Bu-gloss.
      Scabiosa is wonderful isn’t it? I grow both Common knapweed as well as Greater knapweed. Both are great for many pollinators.
      Dandelions are great for bees and good to build up the colony and lots of solitary bees feed on them. Reducing the mowing frequency can also help our pollinator population.
      Basically, the fast flying bees prefer nectar rich flowers where nectar is deep within the flower. They have a longer tongue (Anthophora species for example) and usually these kind of flowers produce more nectar but only offer this to a selected group of insects: bees with a longer tongue. In this way, the flower ensures that pollen will be transferred between flowers of the same kind of plant and pollination will take place. That is the ultimate goal. Smaller bees have smaller tongues so they prefer flowers where nectar can be easily reached such as the daisy family (corn marigold, ox-eye daisy etc).

  2. linsepatron says:

    Greetings from Denmark:) I’ve only just started following your blog, and I find it very informative and helpful. I am doing my best to help the local wildlife in my tiny part of suburbia – I only have about 200 square meters to work with, but I’m trying to make it as diverse as possible.
    Greater knapweed and Mountain knapweed are some of my favourite flowers, and seeing how popular they are with the bees have just made them even more so. Especially the leafcutter bees seem to find them attractive.
    I also have Ox-eye daisies, and last year (they are not in bloom here yet) I noticed that a lot of the smaller bees used them to sleep in. That solitary bees often need flowers not only for food but also for shelter, is something I haven’t seen mentioned very often, so I thought I would point that out.
    Other flowers I have, that the bees seem particularly fond of this time of year are Field scabious (Knautia arvensis) and Goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus). The Goat’s beard doesn’t flower for very long but it is extremely popular with Bombus terrestris. This year there were so many worker bees on the plant that I lost count.

    • Hej! Tack för det!
      I agree the Centaurea species are very popular with bees. I am now growing Cephalaria tchihatchewii which is easy to grow and also popular with bees. In my garden I have also got leafcutter bees that love this plant family a lot.

      Ox-eye daisies are loved by Hylaeus and Heriades solitary bees. As the nectar is found not very deep within the flower, they can reach it with their short tongues.

      I agree what you said about shelter. In my garden, I found Chelostoma rapunculi sleeping in Cmpanula flowers. They feed their young on pollen produced by this plant, they are Oligolectic Bees.

      Knautia arvensis is a really good plant. I had small scabious as well but it could not compete with other plants so it disappeared. I did not know about Goat’s beard, thanks for the advice :-).

      • linsepatron says:

        About the Goat’s beard, I forgot to mention that it’s a dioecious plant. The one I have is the one with male flowers, so the bees are after the pollen. It would probably be the easiest one to get, since the male flowers are bigger and so more decorative. I have no idea whether bees would show any interest in a female plant.

  3. solarbeez says:

    Can I send you a picture or two of a bee (or wasp) that I can’t identify? I saw a little green insect inspecting my leafcutter bamboo nests.

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