This week, I had chance to drop in for a short while to the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley in Surrey, their flagship garden.

Indulging my fascination for which plants work best for wildlife, I always like to pop down to the trial beds, because there you get to see lots of types of a particular kind of plant and compare them in action.

One of the trials underway at the moment is of 'pot mums' - bushy, flower-filled chrysanthemums.

They come in pinks and yellows, whites and salmons...

...and although not to my taste, they certainly do put on something of a show:

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted something in the middle of the second photo. Let's zoom in:

Yes, it has been a good autumn in many parts of the country for the Red Admiral, and he was having a wonderful time supping at this pot mum.

And so were some Honeybees, a hoverfly, and this Small Copper:

This 'magic mum' is a variety called 'Shepherd'.

But you know what? I couldn't find a single insect on any of the other pot mums. They are just too heavily selected, with all the extra petals removing all the yummy goodness; only this almost single-flowered variety has got anything of value left for pollinating insects. 

It is all very clever how plant breeding can end up with something like this:

...but it might as well be tennis balls as far as wildlife is concerned (and is a load of tennis balls in my view, too).

It is another of those lessons to choose carefully when picking plants - some look great and are great for wildlife, but so many are duffers.