Annuals for wildlife

One of the best things about having a garden packed with annual flowers is that it's also full of wildlife. Butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects like hoverflies adore open annual flowers: birds will be hot on their heels after the big, generous seedheads.

Here's our pick of the five best varieties from the range in our garden centre to attract insects into your Poynings garden.

For butterflies:

Marigolds (Calendula officinalis): cheery orange flowers which are adored by butterflies
Honesty (Lunaria annua): lots of simple, open pink or white flowers butterflies can reach easily
Stocks (Matthiola): the scent of these cottage-garden favourites attracts butterflies in from miles around

For bees:

Phacelia tanacetifolia: fuzzy smoke-blue flowers on dense foliage which bees find irresistible
Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus): choose native blue types and they'll be smothered in bees
Forget-me-not (Myosotis): these late-spring arrivals provide much-needed early nectar for emerging bees

For birds:

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus): leave old sunflower heads in place for upside-down bluetits to feast on
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena): architectural seedheads provide valuable food for birds
Teasels (Dipsacus fullonum): biennial, flowering in its second year, goldfinches adore spiky teasel heads

Please ask the staff in our Poynings garden centre for more information and advice about choosing annuals to attract wildlife.

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