Plant of the Month: July 23

This year we are asking our followers to ensure their gardens can help bee populations thrive – encouraging both diverse plant life and a variety of bee species to visit. With 25 species of #bumblebee and more than 250 species of solitary bee, there are many #worthingbees that can be encouraged into your garden if you choose your #plants carefully.

The Royal Horticultural Society has helped us look beyond summer favourites such as lavender and borage. Longer autumns and milder winters mean that bees such as the buff-tailed bumblebee can be active all year round. They need garden plants to help them through.

So, without further ado, July’s plant is Roses (Rosa).

Available in a wide range of colours, with something to suit most gardens, some roses flower throughout spring and into autumn, and many peak in mid-summer. Single-flowered roses attract a wide range of pollinators, but flowers aren’t the only attraction; female leaf-cutter bees use them for nesting material, cutting circular and semi-circular leaf sections to create nectar/pollen-filled, thimble-shaped cells for their larvae.

Look for signs of these in bee hotels or the compost of dry plant pots. These are seven species of solitary bees in Britain; Willughbys leaf-cutter (Megachile willughbiella) is most frequently seen in Southern Britain.

Others to try include:
• Lavender (Lavandula)
• Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
• Majoram (Origanum) – a perennial herb
• Sea holly (Eryngium)
• Purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea)