Gardening tips: feed your roses or plant a perennial pollinator

This week, you could also join the Big Butterfly Count

Plant this Turning a sunny border into a nectar bar for pollinators? If your soil is thin and not very fertile, don’t fight it – plant the perennial blue globe thistle (Echinops bannaticus) instead. It flowers through summer, each electric-blue flower a magnet for bees and butterflies. Height and spread: 1.5m x 75cm.

Count this At a time when insect numbers are declining, taking part in the Big Butterfly Count helps gauge how butterflies are doing and plan how to protect them. Download the identification chart from, then find a sunny 15 minutes to do your count between 20 July and August 12.

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