How to grow a bee-friendly garden

Here’s a comprehensive guide to how to attract bees to your garden, including the flowers they like the best!

Encouraging bees to your garden is great for the environment and will help your flowers grow, especially if you have wild flowers. As an extra bonus, the plants that attract bees often are the ones that smell the most fragrant, as they are brimming with nectar. Here we’ve got tips on how to attract bees to your garden from bee-friendly plants to creating your very own bee-hotel.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend activity, why not make a bee-hotel?

The best flowers for bees

The ideal flowers for bees are those that produce lots of pollen and nectar. There are lots of different types that do this so if you’re not sure or want to know about a specific type of flower, look online at gardening websites or ask at your local nursery. Here are a few types of flowers that attract bees to get you started:

  • Lavender
  • Foxgloves
  • Bluebells
  • Pussy willow
  • Dahlias
  • Snowdrops
  • Crocuses
  • Daffodils
  • Honeysuckle

Bee-friendly plants

OK, so you’ve got decorative flowers sorted, but what about plants more broadly? Which types are best for attracting bees to your garden? Here are a few different ones to try:

  • Lambs’ ears
  • Mullein
  • Ivy
  • Hawthorn
  • Sweet pea
  • Thyme


Creating a bee friendly garden

As well as choosing the best flowers for bees, there are a few other things that you can do to create your own bee-friendly garden. Try some of these ideas:

  • Avoid pesticides as these have nasty chemicals which can harm bees and other little animals.
  • Create your own ‘bee hotel’. There are plenty of great guides for this online, but essentially it involves creating hollow cavities (like dried-out, hollow sticks) bunched together and placed in the sunshine.  
  • Opt for year-round perennial plants so bees always have somewhere to go.
  • Weeds can also be plants that attract bees – consider leaving some areas un-weeded.
  • Growing a wild corner in your garden that you don’t cut back creates a great natural space for bees.
  • Also, ensure there are a few shady corners in case the sun gets too hot. Try leaving out some upturned, broken plant pots.
  • Avoid planting flowers with tight, bunched-up petals, as they make it hard for bees to access the nectar.

These are our top tips on how to attract bees and create a bee-friendly garden. Bees really are absolutely vital to our whole eco-system and environment, quite apart from how cute they can be(e). So choose the right kinds of plants and flowers, and follow our simple tips – then sit back and watch them fly in.

Key steps

  1. Grow bee-friendly flowers from the list above
  2. Make sure there are some shady corners in your garden where bees can relax.
  3. Allow at least a few weeds to grow as these provide an ideal environment for wildlife.