Every year I try a few different annuals to see how many bees they attract. If you choose the right annuals they can be a both a great asset to bees as well as a fantastic source of vibrant colours in your garden.
I choose ones I can grow from seed as many of the pre-grown annuals you get from the Garden Centre are sterile and not able to provide pollen or nectar. You can see the annuals we have tested previously in our full research paper.
This year I am trying a few from the Sarah Raven seed range for pollintators:
- Clary sage
- Cosmos - both pink 'sonata mixed' and orange 'bright lights'
- Cerinthe major (for the 2nd year because it did well last year)
- Calendula officianalis (basic pot marigold)
Each was grown early in the year and developed in pots until I had a chance to prepare to ground. Now they are beginning to settle in and have the odd flower so I can include them in the weekly bee-count. I wont know the results until winter time when I sit down to process of the data but for now I can enjoy thier aesthetics.