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 to attract insects into your 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 a member of the Lakeside team for more information and advice about choosing annuals to attract wildlife.

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