Hungry Queen Bumble Bees are now starting to emerge from their winter shelters, and will urgently need to find pollen and nectar before starting new nests.
Bumble Bees will feature in a new Workshop at the Fairy Fair but you can help them right now. Watch our ‘Fairy Gardening’ video to see why planting your own Primroses is a great way to make your garden especially welcoming to bumble bees.
‘Fairy Gardening Part 1’ was made by volunteers from the Fairyland Trust.
Primroses provide an ideal early food source for bumblebees, and hugely brighten up your garden. They also take well and are easy to plant. If there aren’t any in your garden, now’s a good time to get some ‘plug plants’ and pop them in.
More About Primroses
Primroses are spring flowers which tolerate most soils, and like a partly shaded position with some sun. Be sure only to plant the wild native type of primrose, as multi-coloured garden centre ‘primula’ varieties may have little or no nourishment for bees and other wildlife. We recommend buying your primroses as small ‘plug plants’ (with roots) from British Wild Flower Plants by post. The people at this company are true experts in wildflower gardening and have generously supported our Fairy Gardening Workshops over many years, by donating a huge amount of wildflower plants. Here’s the link to their Primrose page.
Matt and Linda at BWFP with some primroses and other spring flowers
Help Bring Back Our Primroses
Although everyone has probably heard of Primroses they are now much rarer than they used to be. Chemical sprays and over-fertilisation of our verges and hedgerows with farm fertiliser and pollution from traffic has replaced many traditional Primrose banks with rank growth of big grasses and Cow Parsley (more here).
A spring Primrose Bank – now a rare sight. But you can bring them back to your garden.
One of many ‘Primrose Corners’ (this is in Norfolk) which have lost their Primroses but not their name. It doesn’t have to be like this!
As well as bees, Primroses attract night-flying moths who feed on the nectar and spread the pollen, helping the plants produce seeds. If you plant a patch of Primroses you’ll be helping lots of wildlife, and they can soon spread to create a good clump.
These Primroses multiplied in a Fairy Garden corner only a few years after planting as ‘plug plants’.
A Primrose blooming in a pot after being brought home from a Fairyland Trust Fairy Gardens Workshop (read more about it here).
The most practical thing many of us can do to help wildlife is to welcome wildflowers back into our own gardens.
Please help us spread the word about Fairy Gardening (and follow us on Facebook and Twitter), and become a Supporter of the Fairyland Trust.
Did you know that clumps of Primroses were traditionally said to mark the entrance to Fairyland ? Here are some additional traditional names for Primroses:
Devon: Butter Rose, Lent Rose
Somerset: Darling of April, Early Rose, Easter Rose, First Rose, Golden Rose, Golden Stars
Shetland: May Flooer
Scotland: May Spink