I didn’t set out with a specific aim to plant bee or butterfly friendly plants – that seems to have happened by chance.
It’s been nice to see hosts of bumblebees working with slow progression across the garden as one group of flowers fade and others bloom.
They arrived en masse when the lavender hedge around the herb garden came into flower. Then they moved on to the veronica and now they seem drunk on the marjoram and hyssop. I seem to get mainly buff-tailed, red-tailed and carder bees. My neighbour Neville keeps honey bees and I often see them pootling about the garden – they seem most attracted to the echinops. They went CRAZY for the asparagus flowers which are only tiny, unassuming little green bells, but when you turn them upside down the pollen on the anthers is bright orange. I like to think when I buy Neville’s honey that some of my nectar has gone into that jar.
I also got caught up in the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count this summer – not least because of the beautiful photos people were posting on twitter. I suspended gardening one afternoon to skip around the garden trying to photograph my fluttering visitors. I got some corkers but I was disappointed that I didn’t get more butterflies. Much of the land around us is farmed organically so I hope it’s not down to pesticide use. I suppose I must be patient and provide more nectar-rich flowers.