Bee-friendly flower beds will be popping up everywhere as the CountryLife Garden Centre network is donating free flowering perennials and wildflower seeds to 24 Tidy Towns and communities to help protect species at risk of extinction.
The leading farm and rural retailer, owned by Glanbia Ireland, is also giving free wildflower seeds to customers at its network of 14 award-winning CountryLife garden centres across Leinster and Munster and is highlighting in-store which plants are particularly pollinator -friendly.
CountryLife’s in-store horticulturalists are promoting natural pest control methods and providing free information for customers to help them to reduce or eliminate their use of herbicides.
Across the wider Glanbia Ireland group, the company has added pollinator-friendly planted containers and bug hotels in all of its company offices dotted across Ireland. It has also distributed pollinator-friendly garden guidelines to all its 2,000 staff. In Wexford, CountryLife has centres in Campile, New Ross and Bunclody.
Glanbia Ireland’s Jessica Kelly said their actions are designed to help further boost awareness among gardeners of the actions they can take to help biodiversity in their gardens. “Our Irish growers and suppliers, Tully Nurseries and Young Nurseries, donated 1,000’s of pollinating plants and Hygeia also donated thousands of Sutton’s Wildflower Seeds for customers and staff.
“One third of our bee species are threatened with extinction. We want to play our part in protecting Irish bees. What better way to do this than helping our customers to sow Irish-grown plants that bees prefer.
“We also want to give back to our local communities in a visible way and support the tireless voluntary work done by our local Tidy Towns groups. The feedback from our own staff has been very encouraging and we’re keen that this spreads across the wider communities we work and live in.”
Horticulturalist at CountryLife’s Castlecomer centre, Teresa Walsh, said even gardeners with a tiny piece of ground can do their bit to help our bees. More and more customers are asking us what they can do to help our bees and which plants or seed to choose. We’re thrilled to be the drivers of Operation PolliNation. It is equally important though that seed bought is properly sown.