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Planting Schemes for Bees and pollinators


PLANTING SCHEMES for Small Spaces and Pollinators: 

We can’t always choose which way our house and gardens face. When planting a window box, we should consider the amount of sunlight and the impact of wind. Window boxes dry out quickly and can become unstable, so make sure they are well-watered and anchored, to avoid any risk of falling.

Growing a variety of herbs is a great way to attract pollinators to a very small window box. As well as being handy for the kitchen, dense plants such as Lavender and Thyme can provide food and shelter for insects.

This sun-loving scheme offers a mix of attractive, compact flowers and flowering culinary herbs. 

Sunny Herb & Floral Window Box
Size approx 90cm x 30cm, follow the planting layout and guide below:


LaLL: Lavandula angustifolia ‘Little Lady’ - Lavender

Lavender is the great bee and pollinator magnet, so it’s a must for any garden spot or windowsill, with good sun levels. The larger varieties would outgrow a window box and quickly become woody. Instead, choose compact or dwarf varieties like Lavender angustifolia ‘Little Lady’ or ‘Dwarf Blue’.

SoP: Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’ - Purple Sage

Upright and aromatic, with grey-green foliage flushed with reddish-purple - if you let this robust herb flower, you will be rewarded with frequent visits from bees. It’s also useful in cooking, so well worth having close to hand.

 OvA: Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’ - Golden Majoram

Edible and aromatic, this lovely, golden-coloured Marjoram brings a zesty freshness to any planting scheme. With neat, mat-forming growth and small clusters of pink flowers that attract pollinators, this is a handy addition to any mixed herb planting. 

SKP: Scabiosa ‘Kudo Pink’ - Pincushion Flower

A firm favourite with bees and butterflies, these pretty pink flowerhead rise on tall, slender stems. Keep cutting the flowers to encourage new ones to come and you’ll be rewarded with flowers from spring through to autumn.

Tv/Tc: Thymus vulgaris - Common Thyme; Thymus citriodorus - Lemon Thyme

This extremely versatile herb can be used to edge paths and to fill small spaces in pots and planters. Low growing, aromatic, delicious in cooking - what more could one ask for? And when it flowers, you’ll find it smothered in bees!

Ek: Erigeron karvinskianus - Mexican Fleabane

This gorgeous little plant loves growing in cracks in paving and walls and is happy in sun or partial shade. Butterflies and bees enjoy the mass of small daisies, with tones of white and pink and an attractive yellow centre.


Pippa Martlew has many years’ experience designing gardens, large and small, for private and commercial clients. 

A Chelsea veteran, Pippa has assisted on numerous show gardens, including 6 Gold medal gardens and a Best in Show (while working for Andy Sturgeon). Closer to home, she enjoys tending her Wandsworth allotment and her own tiny terrace garden. A long-standing friend, Pippa and the London Honey Company have collaborated on a number of projects.

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