There is some debate between experts over whether native plant species are better for our wildlife and a study is currently underway at the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley garden in Surrey to determine which bugs like best.
Experts advise that you avoid the heavy double forms which feature in Van Gogh's famous painting because the extra petals mean there's less pollen available for our pollinators. The colourful heads provide a burst of sunshine in the summer and a buffet of seeds for birds when the season changes.
A classic feature of the cottage garden, bumblebees love a foxglove. Their blooms appear between June and September but be aware: the plants are poisonous if eaten by humans or pets.
This herb provides excellent ground cover in gravel gardens, creating safe spaces for beetles and other invertebrates. Its nectar is also a favourite of bees.
The calming scent of lavender on a sunny patio is a magnet for bees and butterflies. When the purple blooms go to seed, birds can tuck in.
This climber buzzes with visitors in the summer months, attracting nectar-loving insects including the hummingbird hawk moth. Warblers and thrushes enjoy the berries.
Although it is a small tree, the rowan or mountain ash has big appeal to the thrush family with its red autumn berries and is a good compact choice for small to medium gardens.
These plants provide nectar later in the season and are a haven for hoverflies, bees and butterflies.
This dense red-berried shrub, often used as a hedge, can provide great shelter for birds. It can cope with both exposed positions and shade and gives wildlife a further helping hand with berries and nectar.
An attractive addition to a border, berberis come in a number of varieties and provide nectar for butterflies and moths plus shelter for their caterpillars.
For the soggier spots in your garden, this pink wildflower thrives in damper soil and boggy conditions. It flowers from June until the end of August, providing an important nectar source for long tongued insects including eye-catching red-tailed bumblebees and elephant hawk-moths.