There are a few garden plants that are must-haves if you want to support garden pollinators.
Hellebores, also known as Christmas roses are one of those. In fact they are in my top five plants for pollinators. If you grow them then you know that they are a magnet for bees especially. They flower out of season in the midst of winter. But did you know that they are all day nectar bars. These flowers make copious nectar. One hellebore flower has as much nectar as 157 snowdrops (research by Nick Tew). I’m not saying don’t grow snowdrops, but if you are short on space, or want to give a plant as a gift that will really help pollinators in the winter and early spring, choose a hellebore.
The pollinators aren’t bothered whether it’s a fancy, funky new variety. They just need the sugar rich nectar. The nodding head are virtual umbrellas sheltering the insects as they feed. Quite often the plants self-seed. Great. Dig the seedlings up, pot them on, plant them around your garden and give them as gifts. We need to join up our gardens so the bees and pollinators can extend their reach into new areas and mix with other populations.