Scabiosa flowers are rich in nectar and attract a variety of insects, including moths and butterflies. It is easy to see why it is also known as the pincushion flower.


Echinops ritro is the ultimate fast food for bees, and you hardly ever see a flower in bloom without a bee feasting on it. Easy to grow, this hardy perennial prefers a sunny situation. After flowering I leave the seed heads for the birds, before cutting down to ground level.

Bumble bee on Echinops ritro

Crocosmia (or Montbretia as it used to be called) is another plant that thrives on our heavy clay soil. It flowers for several months and the seed heads provide interest to the autumn border. I cut it back to ground level when all the leaves have died back.

Crocosmia or Montbretia

I love sedums, they grow so well in our garden and require little attention. This is a low-growing, evergreen sedum which the bees have been buzzing around all day. After flowering I cut off the dead flower heads and pull up some of the plant if it spreads too far.

Pink sedum

Thalictrum delavayi is just starting to flower and caught my eye today, along with the spider’s web suspended between the buds. Thalictrum, commonly known as Meadow rue,  is such a delicate looking plant, with leaves like maidenhair fern, but it not only survives on our heavy clay soil, but positively thrives! It flowers all summer long and when foliage dies back, I cut it right down to the ground. It regrows the following Spring – with possibly a new seedling or two nearby.

Thalictrum ©