Tag Archives: lupins

Six on Saturday

Work has been busy, so garden jobs are mounting up, but thankfully many things just go on doing their thing, without my help.

So here are this week’s Six on saturday.

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Lupins

I love many of the old cottage garden flowers and have lupins in blue, pink and purple. Always popular with bumblebees.

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Geranium

This lovely small purple Geranium was given to me by a friend.  It isn’t in the best place,  hidden behind some sage plants,  so need to either propagate more plants or move.

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Lavender

All herbs are good pollinator plants and this lavender doesn’t appear to get as leggy as other varieties.

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Aquilegia

The blue ones seem to have gone over very quickly, but this one is still giving a good display. Single flower varieties will be used by bumblebees.

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Guem

Always ready to add a dash of colour.

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Bugle, Ajuga

The native bugle is a great little bee plant. This cultivated form has lovely dark crimson leaves and it readily spreads if you let it.

 

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Garden Update

Our late spring has jumped to mid summer and we seem to have missed a whole month, as temperatures soar to 24 degrees – not really typical for the west of Ireland, where we’d be happy with temperatures in the high teens. Everyone is afraid to complain about the heat in case the rain comes back! We Irish have a funny relationship with the weather.

Still, my June garden is blooming. Lupins are proving very popular with the bees and other, perhaps not so welcome, creatures! Though with the heat the flowers seem to be going over quickly.

The blue irises have put on a great show – much better than last year. And seem popular with hoverflies and the larger bumblebees like Garden Bumbles.

My favourite areas are the new wildflower meadow and also around the pond, where ragged robin adds it’s glorious pink. Butterflies enjoy the blooms, while hoverflies, are keen on the ox-eyed daisies.

Foxgloves, aquilegia and geraniums are dotted elsewhere. Certainly June adds colour!

June garden update – flowers

Bees, as many of you know, are one of my favourite garden visitors, so providing them with food is important to me. Bumbles are currently busy feeding on comfrey, sage, lupins, foxgloves and delphiniums. The early bumblebees seem to really like the comfrey, while the carder bees are concentrating on the sage. While tailed bees I have seen on buttercup and lupin, while the big garden bumblebee queens that are still around are going for the foxgloves as well as comfrey. It just shows that having a variety of flowers in your garden is important if you want your help a range of bees.

One lovely new sighting for the garden was a humming bird hawk moth, feeding on sage flowers. This is an amazing day flying moth that looks, and acts like a humming bird. We hadn’t seen one since the time we lived in the UK, so great addition to our garden list. if you want to see what it looks out check out this link.

Humming bird hawk moth

Humming bird hawk moth – in a blur!

Vegetable garden update to follow soon.

Lupin surprise

The last couple of days have actually been dry though still excessively dull, with just a few short glimpses of the sun. Still time to get into the garden and do some clearing, well the polytunnel, greenhouse and bee flower garden at least. The vegetable plot is too soggy to even attempt any kind of work.

Still it felt great to clear out the polytunnel. I cut back the broccoli plants but left what I could as they are still producing some small spears. I dug around where last summer I had planted a sweet potato plant that was supposed to be suited to our climate. I found one thumb sized tuber! So not great success there but the cool summer we experienced was probably a large factor. I’ve potted the tuber up in a pot to see what happens.

In the flower garden, I was cutting back the lupins. There is already new growth and I do worry that we’ll get a few nights of sharp frost and they will suffer. But this is what else I found:

It’s so mild the lupin seeds have actually started to germinate while still in their pods! I took the best of them and potted them up. I don’t know if they will grow – but it’s free plants if they do so who’s complaining. Lupins are also great bee plants and I want to get more bee and butterfly friendly plants into the garden as I can. What’s more if I have too many plants I can always give them away and that is more bee-friendly plants in other peoples gardens too!

Hopefully I will be seeing more of this in the summer of 2016!