Gardening for bees: Tip 5

Let the garden do itself

Now for the good news: the less you do, the more wildlife will benefit. Bees and other pollinating insects are usually on the wing when plants are flowering, but that doesn’t mean they just disappear for the rest of the year – many complete their lifecycles in hollow stems or nests within the soil, or tucked up within the undergrowth.

Your plants might have died back for the winter, but their structures are important places for larvae to overwinter, so leave old stems uncut for as long as possible. There’s a reward for you, too: not only does this mean less work, but different types of seedheads create a beautiful effect in heavy frost or with the winter sun behind them. If you must cut down the old stems, pile them up in a corner so they’re still of use to insects.