I’d like window boxes on the ledges of my house, which faces east. Can you recommend plants that attract bees, and what soil to use?
I learned the hard way that window boxes need to be secured in place: an internet search for window box brackets will give you everything from the ornamental to the practical. Invest in a window box with a drip tray or reservoir, because window ledges are windy places and plants dry out fast. Use good-quality, peat-free multipurpose compost, and add perlite to lighten the load if weight is an issue. Add slow-release fertiliser, or be prepared to feed on a regular basis from about six weeks after planting. Container plants only look great if they are fed every two weeks during the growing season.
Heathers such as Calluna vulgaris or Erica vagans are two low-maintenance plants that won’t mind exposed conditions and are loved by bees. Underplant with early spring bulbs: Muscari armeniacum and Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ look nice in pots. Then how about some ivy-leaved trailing pelargoniums for summer? They’ll be happy in full sun or part shade. Finally, heucheras are invincible, appreciated by bees and happy in sun or shade.
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