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Remember to plant flowes that give nectar late in the season as well - sedums and Michaelmas daisies come tomind. Salvia guanitica "Bklack Calyx" is pictured flowering in the University of Bristol Botanic Garden on Dec.1st this year. Salvias ae good for insects as they have a landing platform, the lip of the flower. Plants with distinct nectar guide lines are good too. these act like the runway on an airport and guide the bee to the nectar.
I noticed last year that bees adore red/white flowering clover, I have a patch of lawn that is hardly used or walked on, so this year I am going to lift it, re-seed with red clover and leave it for our fast depleting bee colonies to feast on. I have read that it only needs to be trimmed back a couple of times a year (another plus) to re-vitalise the flowers, and I am sure will look pretty too. If for any reason this doesnt work then I will dig it back in cos its a good form of soil improver, high in nitrogen, wish me luck
I'd love to have a beehive, is it possible in a small garden? Is it a lot of work? I noticed a marked increase in bees and butterflies last year, it was lovely. I try not to use any chemicals in the garden, I have a deal with the spiders, and spend ages picking greenfly off my plants and throwing them at their webs, I have very fat spiders!
I'm just in the throes of 'conjoining' two broods together oop t'lotty this evening. One brood is getting VERY LIVELY, as they say. It could be a new Queen is in order, or so Prince Charles might say ! Everything seems positive.
Too late for the apple, plum and pear trees, that seem to have given up on producing fruit this year. The cherry tree is also ready to be shown the red card ! The old plumtree I dug up in fury three years ago, and exiled to a dar shady corner of the lotty, has produced 12 plums ! Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen !
My best plant for bees so far has been the tall echiums I grew from seeds. They are biennial (although i have had 2 years alreadyfrom them)but i have collected seeds last year, every one germinates, they are so easy,
And i have now planted out about 30. Verbena bon is good, there are 200 around my garden, lupins, foxgloves, alliums, echinops, borage, cerinthe, there are so many, i think i have all Devons bee population.I am harvesting the echium seeds now if anyone wants some, there are thousands. Its the tall bluey looking plants, lots of spikes, that is just one plant so you dont need many.
Hi Lyn, I would love some of your echium seeds please. I do have bees in the veg/flower/orchard garden but there is a definite decline in them and butterflies this year. I grow many plants for them but never echium. My details are: Mrs Penny Colla, The Old Stables, Rossiters Hill, Frome, Somerset BA11 4AL. Would you like me to send you the cost of postage? Best wishes, Penny
Lovely picture Lynn. I also grow echiums, the wild Vipers Bugloss. It is always full of bees, for months on end during most weathers, particularly the wild bees. This is by far the most visited on my land apart from the Brocolli which I let go to seed last year which was the favorite for honeybees.