Gardening for Butterflies, Bees and other beneficial insects
This is one of an increasing number of how-to books now on the market, and Jan Miller-Klein’s volume covers a range of aspects of wildlife friendly gardening, with a special emphasis on gardening for butterflies and bees.
It is an enjoyable book to dip into and is written in a straightforward manner with a general audience in mind. Although there is rather more that is, perhaps, specifically butterfly orientated, there is still plenty for bee folks to enjoy with a range of hints and tips about suitable plantings to attract different species throughout the year. There is also information about providing nesting tubes for mason bees and their allies. Several well-known bee experts have been involved with the book, and these include Carl Clee and Marc Carlton.
I think that perhaps a few tricks have been missed – there is no mention of planting Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) in bog gardens to attract Macropis europaea, or of growing White Bryony (Bryonia dioica) to entice Andrena florea and I would have liked to see some further suggestions on providing reed stem or bramble stems for nesting, and on lawn management to encourage various soil nesting species.
I do like the various garden plans that are provided, and these include some excellent planting suggestions. The author also has an enlightened attitude to bare and exposed ground, an attitude that is not shared by all gardeners.
At £19.50 the book is not particularly cheap, but if making your garden attractive for bees is for you (and it should be), then you would be advised to look closely at this colourful and informative book.