Open air bliss and bees

by Pippa Greenwood

We're having our lunches outside. Bliss! Open air, sun on my back... and no table to wipe down nor carpet to vacuum afterwards.

Leaf cuttersIt's really exciting! Now the sunshine has finally arrived and we're having our lunches outside. Bliss: open air, sun on my back… and no table to wipe down nor carpet to vacuum afterwards (the birds take over external chores and get a free snack as payment!!). But that's not all. Yesterday's whole lunch was punctuated by the activities of a very persistent bee, particularly determined to get to the table - not the food on it (or under it), but to one particular piece of timber.

I've got used to the fact that the local wasps are making their nests out of our new front door and cling to it like limpets every time it is opened or closed, but this was different. The whole family ended up under the table to see exactly what was going on… and then the bee arrived again clasping an out-sized circle of green leaf. Yes, we've got leaf cutter bees in our garden furniture.

So you see, there really is another good reason for not quite finding the time to use wood-treatment on garden furniture! I've never actually had these bees in my garden before. I wondered if I was just lucky, but then I spotted that fellow blogger Rick Parsons has them in his garden, too, on a wisteria. So perhaps conditions in this odd year really are suiting them?

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Gardeners' World Web User 23/08/2007 at 00:38

I know from the News thr morning that, due to the very wet Summer, there's been a huge increase in our slimy friends (slugs) in the garden - but some of them are HUGE - I thought one that had camped out on our front doorstep was a dog's p**h!!!!

NOW ..., here in Crumlin, N. Ireland (previously from UK!), we now have a PATENTED SLUG MOVER-OFFER & DISPOSAL CONTAINER !!!! I'll bet you all want one, don't you ????

Well, there is a problem, our dog Holly, isn't really patented but she seems to think that 'rescuing' some of her little friends from the cold and wet night is something she should do as 'presents' for us! Never mind the odd one that she eats - perhaps she feels like a snack in the night!!!!

Anyway, if any of your kind readers has any words of wisdom to impart of how we can get 'Sluggs/Holly' to stop bringing in her friends at night we would be very grateful! Slugs Away!!!!!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/08/2007 at 08:52

I am really concerned about news stories concerning the 'colony collapse syndrome' in USA. I am therefore going to be proactive about this and plant some bee-friendly plants on my allotment. I am thinking of lavender. What else do they like?

Gardeners' World Web User 02/09/2007 at 14:01

My wisteria which I bought in 1999 as an established plant (from the Bigger Tree company) looks as if it has died - in February I pruned it exactly according to the instructions from the Gardeners World. Normally it is so prolific that the new tendrils hae to be cut down before its late summer pruning - but there are no new shoots and some of the leaves are turning yellowwhich normally they do not do until Nov ish. It is planted next to a wall in a small bed carved out from a patio, I normally do not feed it. Conditions have been exceptionally wet in Bristol this summer. It is not in direct sunlight, but has been fine about is position for 8 years, any ideas. - I am really sad as it is extends over a large area and up until now has flowered every spring -

Gardeners' World Web User 30/06/2008 at 19:04

I've just found this site (30 june 08)after looking up leaf cutter bees. I have just been watching them under our teak garden table taking in great chunks of leaf into tiny (3/8")screw holes; Don't worry I shall let them be/bee!

Gardeners' World Web User 15/08/2008 at 14:59

we bought some tom plants from wilkinsons and we are growing them outside we have lots of toms on but they are still green we have been trimming the leaves regular so that the light can get at them is that right or should we just leave them to grow

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