Oedomeria pollen beetleBombus hortorum visits AntirrhinumSmall Solitary bee and VerbascumRed Admiral and Buddleja weyerianaMale wool Carder Bee (Anthidium) visits Rusty Foxglove

Let’s repay our debt to pollinators...
Flowers don’t exist just to ornament our gardens. Flowers have close and special relationships with their pollinators.

Such as?
Here in Britain 'pollinators' means small flying insects such as hoverflies, bees, beetles, butterflies and moths. By creating a garden we can provide food and homes for these pollinators, as well as a place that we love to be in ourselves. We just need to choose the right plants to create an inviting spread of nectar and pollen for our insect friends.

A garden is your canvas and you are the painter...
But even the most subtle planting can seem two-dimensional and lifeless if there are no birds, pollinating insects, and other wild creatures to give movement and life.

Wildlife-friendly Gardens don’t have to be boring Gardens..
All styles of garden can be planted and looked after in a way which will provide food or a home for local wildlife. Formal or informal, small or large, in city or country. Even on a balcony or patio.

About this website
I'm a long-time gardener turned naturalist. After years of being a plantsman, and realising that plants evolved in partnership with their pollinators, I decided to learn what I could about those pollinators and encourage them to our garden. This website, and our flower borders buzzing with wild bees and hoverflies are the result.

- Marc Carlton

This is an independent website, and its contents are based on my own experience. There is basic information about wildlife-friendly gardening on my basics page, and I've written a series of fact sheets which cover several subjects including what to plant to attract wild bees and moths, and herbs for the wildlife-friendly garden. I also give lists of recommended reading and an extensive annotated bibliography. If you are reading this in the USA or Canada, there is a special North America page for you, as well as a special North American books section in the bibliography.

More specialised information about flowers and pollinators is found on these pages: How insects feed from flowers, Flower shapes, Bumblebees and Gardens, and How to Make a Bee Hotel.

In 2009 we moved to Chepstow. This is a town on the border of Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire. We are not far from Bristol as the crow flies, although we are in Wales. We are developing our garden here particularly with wild pollinators in mind - bumblebees and solitary bees, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies - mainly through our choice of plants. Our new 'pollinator borders' proved a great success in 2010 and during the early spring of 2011 I expanded them. A planting list can be downloaded from the Planting List page.

I owe a great deal to my friends in the German 'nature garden' movement who have taught me and influenced me over the years. There are some interesting photographs of a German nature garden on my page about Other European countries.





© Marc Carlton 2012
. You may print this page for personal use or for non-commercial, not-for-profit educational purposes. Other reproduction is prohibited without permission.