Asters, autumn daisies in a wide range of colours from white, through all shades of pink and purple. Almost every garden has them and I know some gardens where they almost grow as weeds. They flower really late and give a strong splash of colour in September when most other flowers are beginning fade. They will tolerate light shade and bright sun and are relatively trouble free; what more could you want in an autumn flower. Right now (mid September) my asters are the top plant attracting not only bees but a wide range of hoverflies too. I grow, and sell, Aster Amellus (pictured) as its a species plant which tend to be more reliable nectar sources than anything that has been over-bred. Having said that, bees seem to like all the simple, open style of asters so you just need to avoid anything with frilly or with 'double' petals.
Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire