The first EVER Polly & Nate Club plant of the month is…. HEATHER (specifically Calluna vulgaris).

– Honey bees
– Bumblebees
– Solitary bees
– Hoverflies
– Midges

Heather is the perfect plant to supply nectar and pollen to the pollinators in your garden as summer turns to autumn. As many summer blooms come to an end, Calluna heathers are only just reaching full bloom in a display of pinks, purples and white.

Heather is perfect to go in your autumn/winter baskets, containers or into your beds/borders and is a low maintenance plant. It is evergreen and can flower for as long as 5 months every year. By mixing Calluna vulgaris with another summer flowering heather, such as Erica varieties, you could have flowers year round which would not only look great but also provide pollinators with plenty of nectar and pollen. Scientific studies have also suggested another benefit of Calluna heathers. A natural chemical appears to have medicinal properties which protect bumblebees from a parasite.

Calluna vulgaris thrives in full sun in acidic soil (you can use ericaceous compost if you do not have naturally acidic soil).

By Nadia Hallwood