Top tips on the birds and bees

Gary Faulkner, garden centre team member, getting ready for the garden centre's Bees, Bugs and Butterflies Festival, which runs from June 4 until July 1.
Gary Faulkner, garden centre team member, getting ready for the garden centre's Bees, Bugs and Butterflies Festival, which runs from June 4 until July 1.
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RESIDENTS can pick up top tips about attracting friendly insects to their garden.

A Bees, Bugs and Butterflies Festival is under way at Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre.

Visitors can get advice on plants that will encourage the creatures, including buddleja, dill, lavender, mint and tansy.

Such plants are becoming ever more important with bees, bugs and butterflies all in decline as countryside habitat is lost to industrial and housing development, intensive farming and roads.

Heighley Gate General Manager Roger Wale said: “Bees and butterflies are vital to gardeners because they feed on flower nectar and as they feed they transfer pollen on their bodies and legs from one plant to another.

“Without bees, many arable and horticultural crops couldn’t produce a harvest, which would seriously affect our food supply.

“Bugs such as ground beetles, lacewings and ladybirds are also helpful because they act as a natural pest control by eating the insects that can be a particular nuisance for gardeners.”

The festival runs until Sunday, July 1.

Gardeners are also invited to two free summer events dedicated to David Austin Roses.

David Austin expert Doreen Wright will be talking about how to plant, grow and design, with roses for beginners and experts alike.

The informative evenings will take place on Thursday, June 14 and Wednesday, June 27, from 6pm. They are available for members of Heighley Gate’s Gardening Club, which is free to join.

There will also be a prize draw for the chance to win a trip to the David Austin Plant Centre at Albrighton, including a private tour of the nursery and lunch for two.

Places are limited and booking is essential.

To reserve your space, telephone 01670 513416.