Saturday, 28 April 2012

Happiness is flower shaped.

I should really be blogging about what is happening in the garden but after the most appalling weather it's pretty much been left to it's own devices this month. Which, quite frankly, as far as the wildlife is concerned, is just how it likes it. If you have a rain-free hour or so to venture out into the garden now, you'll start to see queen wasps looking for suitable nest sites. Male blackbirds will be defending their territories with gorgeous early evening arias. Ground beetles will be scrambling amongst the ground cover and, because of the rain-softened ground, starlings, blackbirds and robins will all be taking advantage of the easy-to-get worms for their chicks. Jays and thrushes will like the damp conditions for more daytime slugs and snails and ants will just be starting their foraging food runs as ladybirds start looking for a mate. Despite the frosts, rain, gales, sleet and flooding late Spring is here.

Bluebells in shady corner.

Robin on fence. 
Pasque flower.

So, instead of focusing on the rain I thought I'd focus on plants for bees, because for bees, happiness really is flower shaped. Here's my list of easy-to-grow plants that have been bee favourites in the garden over the years. :-

  •  Rosemary (Drought tolerant, early spring flowering, can be grown into hedging.)
  •  Lamium  (Ground cover, loves shady areas, tough as old boots.)
  • Wallflower (Spring flowering)
  • Borage (Self seeding annual, grows very large, spring through summer flowering.)
  •  Thyme (Late spring/summer flowering)
  •  Love-In-a-Mist (Early summer flowering self seeding annual)
  • Buddleja  (Late summer, called butterfly bush is beloved of bees too.)
  •  Lavender (Late summer/autumn flowering, drought tolerant.)
  • Sunflowers (Late summer, autumn flowering, extremely easy to grow.)
  • Clover (Often treated as a weed, great for a bit of colour in the lawn, you might be lucky and grow a four-leafed one!)
  • Valerian (Summer-long flowering, great for poor or shallow soils.)