I was working at Fishlake Meadows yesterday morning and it was wonderful to be somewhere so green and full of flowers. Access to water is not a problem for the plants at Fishlake so they have kept growing whilst the rest of the countryside has turned brown.
Many of these flowers are also very good nectar sources and it was noticeable how many bees there were visiting the flowers. Butterflies were also common, but there were rather few hoverflies, but this maybe because they tend to keep out of the sun at the warmest part of the day.
Over-topping most of the others is the hemp agrimony, a popular plant with butterflies like peacock and red admiral.
Another very tall plant is angelica, an umbellifer and very popular with hoverflies.
Slightly smaller and almost finished flowering now, the meadow sweet is a typical plant of wet meadows and river banks.
Of similar height and with prominent purple spires of flower, the purple loosestrife is impossible to miss and very popular with nectaring bees, brimstone and white butterflies.
Some plants get a bad press and thistles are certainly one of these, they can be a nuisance when they become dominant, but they are a great nectar source for lots of insects, popular with bees, butterflies and flies. At Fishlake creeping thistle is scattered and as such not a problem but an addition to the floral display.
A particular favourite with bees is comfrey, the bell-like flowers of which come in two shades, this is the paler one.
To get at the nectar of the comfrey needs a long tongue, for those that do not have one more open flowers and especially composites are a favourite. Ones with a good supply of food will also attract longer tongued visitors too, fleabane is popular with a wide range of species from hoverflies to butterflies.
Fleabane dies best on damp ground, where the ground is properly wet a favourite flower with insects is water mint, this will grow on the bank and as an emergent plant in shallow water.
All in all something to suit all nectar seekers, we can mimic this diversity of flower type in our gardens if we too want to attract the widest range of insects.