Skip to main content

The Greatest Blooms for Supporting Garden Biodiversity Through Each Season

CandideUK
Published on May 19th 2021
3
Red Currant (Ribes sanguineum) in bloom by Mantonature (All rights reserved)
A close up of a pink flower on a plant
A diverse assortment of plants and flowers in a habitat is essential for a well-functioning, healthy ecosystem. The larger the diversity of living things in an environment, the stronger the foundation will be for other creatures to thrive. So how can we as gardeners promote biodiversity in our own green spaces? In light of the International Day for Biological Diversity, Emma O’Neill, Head Gardener at the national charity Garden Organic, shares her advice on choosing the best flowers for increasing garden biodiversity.
A close up of a flower
The term biodiversity is used a lot in gardening - particularly if you’re an organic gardener - and here at Garden Organic, it pops up all the time in conversation. Biodiversity, in essence, means variety in plant and animal life. We often get asked why biodiversity is important for gardeners, and the answer is straightforward. The more diversity in your space, the more successful your plants will be. What’s more, if you can support biodiversity in your own growing space, and however big or small it might be, you will be directly helping to protect our planet’s precious flora and fauna.
A vase of flowers sitting on top of a grass covered field
Flowers play a crucial role in this balance. Whether on trees, shrubs, fruit or vegetables, flowers provide valuable pollen and nectar to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and many other creatures essential in producing fruit and seed. In fact, without these pollinators, we would be lost, and we would struggle to produce food on the scale we currently do.
When choosing flowers for biodiversity, the most important rule to remember is that single open flowers are best. Many highly bred fancy, often double flowers have little or no pollen and nectar available, and for those pollinating insects, they are of no use at all.
Biodiversity doesn’t just include pollinators; insects and invertebrates such as butterflies, birds, spiders, beetles and toads all fall into this category and are a gardener’s friend. They help rid the garden of pests, or they themselves are a valuable food source for other predators higher up in the food chain. To support these creatures, the other important factor to consider is choosing flowering plants that will provide dense vegetation for habitats, shelter in the winter months and food.
A pink flower on a plant
Here are a few of the top flowering plants, some of which we grow at Ryton Gardens, our organic demonstration garden, to ensure it is diverse and thriving throughout the four seasons:
Spring
A close up of some pink Ribes sanguineum flowers and green leaves on a branch

Flowering Currant

Ribes sanguineum

A close up of a pink Helleborus flower

Hellebores

Helleborus spp.

Wallflower

Erysimum spp.

Spurge

Euphorbia characias

Malus floribunda

Japanese Crab Apple

Malus floribunda

Photo of Pieris japonica at the University of California Botanical Garden

Japanese Pieris

Pieris japonica

Summer
Autumn
Winter
Create a wildlife paradise with the collection!

The Wildlife Garden Collection

Shop
John Cullen Gardens
Abelia grandiflora 'Goldsport' (1ltr) Shrub
£7.50
My Wish Tree
Acer palmatum 'Emerald Lace', (Japanese Maple Tree)
£28
Free delivery
John Cullen Gardens
Achillea 'Layla' - 2L Pot - Hardy Perennial - Yarrow
£9
John Cullen Gardens
Achillea 'Terracotta'
£9
John Cullen Gardens
Achillea 'The Beacon' syn. Fanal - 2L Pot - Hardy Perennial - Yarrow
£9
John Cullen Gardens
Achillea filipendula 'Cloth of Gold' - 9cm Pot - Hardy Perennial - Yarrow
£4.75
Or shop plants for pollinators here:

For more advice on organic growing, visit Garden Organic.
Enjoy this article? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with what's happening. You can find out more about the flower-packed articles, competitions, plants to buy and gardens to visit below.
Sign up to our newsletter and have floral inspiration delivered straight to your inbox!