Can a front garden be too tiny to make a difference? Phoebe Stone’s garden certainly isn’t. Thanks so much to an “On the Verge” member for sharing this!
A garden could hardly be more limited than these shared front railings between the bins and the basement yard. Even in a road with flats and no front gardens on a busy bus route, good choices of high nectar producing flowers are attracting butterflies and bees.
Pink Marjoram/oregano, pale blue or pink Scabious, purple or pink Salvia are growing in nothing more than boxes hooked over railings.
In spring blue Ground ivy (Glechoma) and Rosemary can trail over and feed early queen bees.
Phoebe’s success is due to choosing the flowers most popular with insects, attracting butterflies including blue, white and meadow brown. A white butterfly laid eggs on the nasturtium leaves.
A pale yellow Primrose even attracted a bee-fly hovering with its long proboscis even though this space is even smaller than a balcony.
Other bee favourites suitable for boxes (where conditions can be harsher than in the ground) include:
Winter savory (white)
Birds foot trefoil/bacon and eggs
Dyers camomile/anthemis tinctoria (yellow)
California poppy/elsholtzia (orange)
French marigold/tagetes petula (Only the ones with single petal flowers)
Many thanks for this inspiring story and tips for growing plants in tiny spaces!
We spotted a few tiny gardens round Seaford that are also doing their bit for wildlife, and looking beautiful too! Nicotiana alata is especially attractive to night flying moths. Sedums and achillea are brilliant for bees too. Marigolds and nasturtiums are cheap and easy to grow in containers from seed. If you spot any more tiny spaces making a difference to wildlife, do let us know!
If you want to check if your pot plants are good for bees, do check out the Bee Kind site from the Bumblebee trust
If you have a wildlife garden, however tiny don’t forget to log it on the “Metre Square for wildlife” page so we can add it to the map of Seaford green pathways!