Late flowering plants are essential sources of nectar for insects including butterflies and bees who are still foraging at this time of the year. Martyn Loach suggests five plants that will make your garden wildlife friendly into the autumn.
It's clear from the recent State of Nature Report that insects need all the help they can get. Many plants finish flowering in the final weeks of summer but here are my suggestions to provide a food source for insects as we approach the end of the year.
Michaelmas falls on 29 September and the eponymous daisies not only provide lovely pastel colour, all sorts of insects will be attracted to them as a food source.
Sedum spectabile is one of my favourite late flowering plants, many pollinators will make a bee line to its gorgeous dark pink flower heads.
The scented Buddleia weyeriana 'Sungold' is easy to grow and boasts clusters of dainty yellow flowers right up until frosts arrive. Without pruning it can grow up to around 18ft.
Although grown for its attractive variegated foliage, Ivy is an abundant source of food and provides inviting habitat for a large number of insects.
Verbena bonariensis is a elegantly tall perennial with branching stems and small purple flowers that butterflies will flock to in the autumn.
You needn't transform your garden into a nature reserve, these plants will not look out of place in even the most manicured garden, attracting essential pollinators and adding colour late into the growing season.