How to guides
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How to attract pollinators to your garden 

Try these simple tips to create a gorgeous garden full of buzzing bees and beautiful butterflies.

Purple, yellow and white wildflowers.

Grow nectar-rich plants

The first thing you’ll need are flowering plants that provide nectar for bees and butterflies to enjoy. Try positioning at least two bee-friendly plants together in a sunny spot. Have flowers that bloom throughout the year, so there’s always some nectar available for pollinators.
Cotton garden

Plenty of choice

The key is to go for single and open flowers, as these give easy access to lots of nectar. Double flowers and those with multiple petals have less nectar inside. Plants to consider are allium, bluebells, forget-me-not, marigolds, snap-dragons, geranium, buddleia, sedum, ivy and lavender. These are just a few of the many plants you could choose though, so it’s worth looking on the RHS website for a more extensive list. 

Father and daughter in garden

Avoid pesticides 

It’s tempting to spray on some pesticides to detract bugs from certain plants, or to blitz a border with some weed killer - but chemicals like these are a no-no for bees and butterflies. Try to avoid using chemicals wherever possible, as this will really help to keep your garden full of wildlife. If you do have to use a pesticide, use it sparingly and don’t spray open flowers. 
Buttercups in a large field

Don’t be too tidy

The great thing about creating a wildlife-friendly garden is that it often requires less work - ideal for low maintenance garden fans! Leave a few areas in your outdoor space undisturbed and untidy. An area of overgrown planting, or a pile of leaves can provide shelter for bees and butterflies.  
People looking at plants in local park

Leave grass to grow 

Another win-win for those who prefer a laidback approach - break the habit of mowing the lawn every weekend. Cutting your grass less often, ideally every two to three weeks, will allow clover, buttercups and daisies to grow, all of which are a fantastic source of food for bumblebees.

You could even allow the whole lawn to grow into a wildflower meadow,or allocate a small area that you leave unmown. Another interesting idea is to mow a path through the long grass, which will give you the perfect mix of wild and tidy. 

Cream coloured homes with flowers infront

Pop in a bee and butterfly pitstop 

Even a small courtyard garden or balcony can be wildlife friendly. All you need is a large container or window box and a packet of wildflower seeds. Sow them in the container and position in a sunny spot. You’ll have a mini bee and butterfly paradise that you can watch while outside, and from inside through your window. 
Family of 4 doing some gardening

Add a bug hotel or a bee brick

Wild bees like to nest in small enclosed spaces, and a bug hotel made of small bamboo canes is perfect. You can easily make an insect hotel yourself, or there are many available to buy - from the most basic models, to elaborate, multi-roomed versions.

Consider bee bricks too. These are construction bricks with nesting holes for solitary bees, which you can stand anywhere in the garden or use as part of a new building project.

Daisies in field with homes in distance