At last there are signs of spring in the garden with bulbs peeping through and buds on the trees.

As the days get longer we can spend more time in the garden planting not only for our own pleasure but to provide a feast for pollinators.

The RHS has plenty of advice on how to make your gardens an attractive place for insects, birds and other wildlife to flourish helping to increase diversity.

Smaller simpler flowers such as the common primrose not only cope better with extremes of weather but their open flowers are easier for pollinators to access.

By March many bee species are emerging and need a plentiful supply of food in order to survive the season ahead.

The RHS suggests planting pulmonaria, primula, crocus and early forms of clematis – all or which attract a variety of insects.

They suggest planting densely encourages a diversity of invertebrates although the odd patch of bare ground is good for spiders and ground-nesting bees; trying to ensure that native and near native (ie northern hemisphere) species are dominant although exotic evergreens provide important winter cover; allowing dry stems to shelter insects from the cold weather and only cutting to the ground when new growth is emerging.

And whilst you are planning your garden for the benefit of wildlife, don’t forget the benefit to your health too!

Research suggests that being in Nature is able to boost our brains inducing calm, deepening our breathing and slowing our heartbeats.

Fascinating research has also highlighted how common non-pathogenic soil bacteria has the ability to have an ‘anti-depressant’ effect on our brains boosting serotonin levels as well as being beneficial for our immune health.

So this Spring, get your trowels out and get stuck in!

The RHS has more information at:

www.rhs.org.uk/plantsforpollinators

www.rhs.org.uk/plants4bugs

Last year we published a blog about planting for bees – read it here:

Planting for Bees

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