Don’t just think ornamental flowering plants when you are choosing plants to attract pollinators into your garden throughout the spring and summer. Many edible crops also depend on pollinators to transfer pollen and ensure that the plant sets fruit to make the next generation.
With careful planning you could have edible crops providing pollen and nectar from March to September.
Many fruiting trees and shrubs flower early in the year, from March to May, such as apples, pear, plums, cherries, blackcurrants and gooseberries, with blackberries, strawberries, summer fruiting raspberries following on. Autumn-fruiting raspberries will flower later in the summer along with late varieties of some of the crops mentioned above.
Vegetables can also provide pollen and nectar. Broad beans will flower around April, with courgettes, french beans, peas, runner beans, peppers, potatoes, squashes and tomatoes following on through the summer.
Also allow some of your other crops to bolt and flower, such as lettuce, rocket, radish, Florence fennel and parsnips.
Herbs are a valuable source of pollen and nectar too. Rosemary will flower first around April, followed by Chives, sage, oregano, borage, and coriander.
So not only do you get joy out of the practice of growing your own food, you also get an attractive plant, help re-balance nature, get something healthy and tasty to eat and reduce food miles and packaging all at the same time!