the herbaceous beds are planted with a view to attracting insects. So many plants that you read about that are supposed to bee-friendly turn out to be decidedly underwhelming in that area. After a couple of years, if a plant doesn't provide forage for bees and butterflies it is dug out and something else is tried in its place.
I carry out a survey of which flowers attract bees, how strongly they attract them and for how long. The results are to be found in the bee pages and they will be useful to anyone who wishes to make their garden better for bees.
In front of the house we have dug up the tarmac turning circle and replaced it with a garden which is full of flowers that bees love and which is also an adjunct to our bird table, providing year-round water for the birds.
The picture shows part of it it just after it was planted in 2015. The small pool has a water heater in it (visible as a circle in the centre of it). It is only 50W but it keeps a hole open in the ice even in winter. The small fountain also helps keep a patch clear of ice while at the same time sending a trickle of water up to the bird bath. This overflows into two stone sinks that are filled with peat & moss and grow carnivorous plants.
There were two unexpected bonuses from all this. One was that the bees loved it for gathering water, which they need to do from time to time. The other was that the ducks also loved it, even though it is so small. They would come and feed under the bird table and then go to the pool to have a good wash & a preen. They would even bring a line of ducklings up to the bird table area.