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Comment from Joanne 9919


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Now that I have bought my pond, I want to make the border where I am siting it into a wildlife border.

Can anyone suggest any plants which are going to attract wildlife and which are not too tall, about 2 foot or smaller. The border gets the sun in the afternoon.


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  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Wed. 18th March 2009 12:31

Wildlife border

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Jo
What fun planning a new border!
I have a few suggestions that might work, but they are based on the assumption that the border is not too wet (even thought near the pond)?
A couple of low-growers to attract wildlife(I tried to keep all suggestions under 60 cm) could be:
- Hyssopus officinalis - up to 60cm wth narrow, aromatic, dark green leaves and spikes of purple-blue flowers from midsummer to early autumn. Thrives on chalky soils nad is drought tolerant
- Most Thyme
- Alllium schoenoprasum - Chives - A favourite spring bloomer of mine and great in the kitchen, too. No bigger than 60cm, though usually shorter.
- Allium cristophii
- Allium sphaerocephalon - I admit, this gets taller than 60cm, but it is a 'see-through' plant - the foliage is low to the ground and the flowers are on long, thin stalks that rise above the foliage of lower-growing plants - I love these!
- If cats aren't a problem, what about Nepeta?
- Sedum 'Herbstfreude' or any other similar cultivar is great for attracting wildlife in autumn.
- Any prostrate, cascading Rosemary will attract loads of bees in flower.
- Calamintha nepeta 'White Cloud' - Lesser Calamint is a favourite of bees, too.
- Dwarf Monardas - there are some cultivars of Bee Balm (Bergamot) that stay under 50cm - 'Pink Lace', 'Fireball', 'Pink Supreme' are just a few - a definite butterfly magnet. Just watch out for powdery mildew on them.

If the ground closest to the pond is at all moist, have you considered Caltha palustris (a favourite pond/marginal plant of mine).

I hope this short list is of some use. If I think of any others, I will be sure to add to the list. Hopefully some other members will be able to add to it, too.
Happy planning and planting and please let me know what you choose.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Wed. 18th March 2009 21:19

Plants to attract beneficial insects

Reply from Georgie

Hi Jo

This is one of my favourite subjects. :D

Now you will see from the title I am assuming that this is what you mean but if you want slugs/snails/rabbits/deer/squirrels/moles/aphids etc I'll happily post again. ;)

I'm going to post ten plants avoiding those already mentioned but I could go on and on! Some of these get a bit taller than 2 feet but you can always pinch them out if need be:

Aquilegia vulgaris for bees
Borage for bees
Heliotrope for bees, hoverflies and butterflies
Hesperis for bees and hoverflies
Lavender for bees
Mustard for hoverflies
Nasturtims for bees (and as a companion plant)
Oxeye Daisy for bees, hoverflies and butterflies
Salvia officinalis (Sage) for bees
Verbena Bonariensis for bees and butterflies


  • Posted: Wed. 18th March 2009 21:50

Beneficial Insect Plants

Reply from Joanne 9919

Thanks for your replies. There are some plants there which I haven't heard of so I will check them out.

Still looking for more idea's though, so if anyone else has any to add I would be grateful.


  • Posted: Thu. 19th March 2009 13:43

Bit late - a few more

Reply from Fi

A few that I have put in (also new wildlife pond) which will establish quickly:

Geranium pratense (the perennial one, not pelargonium!) - these form lovely clumps and drape into the water so the frogs/insects can get in and out.
Grasses - any you like.
Ajuga reptans
Ground Ivy
I also have several iris in one place, which I've found the dragonflies use to perch on
oh yes - kniphofia also for airborne insects.
Depending how much room you have, you can grow the coloured stemmed dogwoods - I have two red and yellow (cornus) which I coppice, great for birds etc.
Put some large pebbles for a beach effect in the shallowest bit, the butterflies use this as well as the birds.
Happy ponding

  • Posted: Fri. 27th March 2009 11:16

What to plant

Reply from Joanne 9919

Thanks Fi,

I'll check your list out. I already have a dwarf Kniphofia in the border, Little Maid, so that can stay there then. Kniphofia is actually one of my favourite flowers.

Keep the idea's coming!


  • Posted: Fri. 27th March 2009 13:20