Bees and butterflies inspire many of Lorna’s designs, dancing with colour between the British plants and flowers she enjoys drawing, however these and other pollinators face a growing challenge from urban development threatening their native food stocks. We’ve been gathering tips and talking to experts to find out how we can all do our bit to ensure British bees and butterflies continue to provide inspiration for generations to come. Plant seeds for the future. Lorna has decided to take action and you can help too. Inside Lorna’s new range of pollinator cards, you will find a special mix of wildflower seeds. Create your own safe haven for bees and butterflies, and share with a friend or relative when you send one of Lorna’s cards. A lovely thank you gift or a welcome for a new homeowner, this thoughtful enclosure will transform a patch of earth into the perfect place for bees and butterflies to thrive.
But why help bees? “People need pollinators” is a mantra for Kathryn Lwin, founder of River of Flowers, a not-for-profit social enterprise that aims to inspire safe ‘rivers’ of wildflowers for pollinators to thrive on in urban environments. Kathryn explains that by feeding our bees and butterflies, we help them to pollinate the fruits and vegetables that are so important for a balanced diet and healthy life – “Feed the bees that feed us!”How can we do this? Native wildflowers are more easily digestible for our British pollinators, so garden plants and flowers bred for colour may not be nourishing and could even be difficult to digest. The wildflower pack you will find in Lorna’s new card range contains native British species, which will provide the perfect food for bees and butterflies in your garden.
Another simple tip is to leave the dandelions in your garden to grow if you can. Bumble bees, honey bees and solitary bees are all under threat and all like to feast on these ‘weeds’. If you have a tricky spot to mow, or a patch of lawn you could leave to grow wild for a time, you will be providing a feast for a variety of bees on your own land, as well as birds, like goldfinch, who also love a dandelion.And finally, it’s important to keep caring for your wildflower sanctuary. The seeds in Lorna’s mix have been specially selected to flower at different times. As Kathryn explained to me, red campion and ox-eye daisy provide wonderful spring forage for bees and butterflies, while other seeds will bloom throughout the summer. Some won’t be seen in your first year, but be patient, as by the second and third years you will have a pollinator’s paradise – just remember to keep the grass from encroaching!
Written by Anna for LornaSyson.co.uk
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