Patterns and shapes are everywhere in Nature. Today, we visited Belvedere House and Gardens in Co Westmeath. Once a country villa, Belvedere is now owned and managed by the local council. You can visit the house, enjoy lovely woodland walks and a fairy garden. But for me the highlight was the walled garden. There was a small vegetable garden, an ornamental pond, fruit trees and some beautiful flowers beds. Here colour, shapes and patterns blended and did everything to please the eye.
I was also happy to see many pollinators, mostly honey bees but also three different bumblebees species. The honeybees were visiting the pond to gather water. It is the first time I have witnessed this, though I have read about it.
I couldn’t resist sharing and re-sharing some bumblebee photos for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from Tina on the theme “soft “. Bees have had a pretty tough year – the late, cold spring certainly did not help. But I do love watching them. Providing food for bees from March right through till the first frosts in October is a great way to ensure you enjoy bees in your garden.
The current hits in my garden are oregano, comfrey, borage, poppies and runner beans. Lupins are popular earlier in the summer, as can be seen below. Even now the last remaining lupin flowers are being visited by carder bees.
Wildflowers, fruit trees and herbs are also vitally important food sources.
Harebells, Campanula rotundifolia, are one of my favourite summer flowers. What is not to like – a beautiful blue colour and shaped like bells. I have cultivated forms of Campanula in my garden but nothing beats this native one. The native ones are found on dry grasslands and dunes. These ones were growing on a dry sand/soil bank adjacent to some machair (a specialised, rare and sandy habitat formed from windblown calcareous sands) near Belmullet, Co Mayo.