The three flowers you need to attract wildlife to your garden, according to Monty Don

These beautiful blooms have the added bonus of attracting wildlife to your garden - definitely ones to look out for

hollyhock and bee
(Image credit: Getty / gerdtromm)

If you want to attract wildlife to your garden, there are lots of ways to go about it. British gardening expert and writer Monty Don recently spoke about three stunning plants that are particularly popular among honey bees.

Not only do they look beautiful, adding vibrant color to your plot, but they'll also invite pollinators. In a recent episode of Gardener's World, Monty Don recommends starting as early as you can in the year with wildlife gardening and carrying on for as long as possible.


agastache purple flower

(Image credit: Alamy)

The first plant he mentions is the Agastache 'blackadder', also known as the giant hyssop. It has a long stem with lots of lovely purple flowers.

'Agastache is one of the favorite plants for bees,' Monty says. 'It has these spires of flowers, rich purple from mid-summer right into early autumn.'

'Give it some sunshine, reasonable soil and that will be a magnet for the bees,' he says.


hollyhocks in cottage garden

(Image credit: Getty / Peter Adams)

In the episode, he then goes on to plant a much taller plant, the hollyhock. 'Hollyhocks are fantastic for insects, with nice open, big flowers,' Monty Don says. 

'But, if you are going to buy hollyhocks particularly to encourage wildlife, do buy singles rather than doubles. That means each flower is a single, saucer-shaped flower rather than one with convoluted petals.'

This is because bees and other insects find it hard to access the pollen and nectar from flowers with complicated flowerheads.

Hollyhocks need good drainage and plenty of sunshine. Planting some hollyhocks is also a brilliant way to create height and a cottage garden feel in any area of your garden.

Wild clary

wild clary purple flower

(Image credit: Alamy)

Wild clary, also known as Salvia Verbenaca, is a much smaller plant, but another that bees will love. It needs full sun to grow healthily and, similar to the Agastache, it has beautiful purple flowers that bees are particularly attracted to.

Flowers are essential to pollinators - to keep the bees coming back, read our guide on how to make a bee-friendly garden, which includes lots of other plants, from mint to snapdragon. To expand the kinds of wildlife in your garden, a garden pond will work wonders.

We'll be keeping an eye out for these on our next garden center trip.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.