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.
White tailed bumble on lupin
Foxglove – is this normal for a culitvate foxglove?
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 – in a blur!
Vegetable garden update to follow soon.
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:
Lupin seeds germinating
Lupin seeds germinating
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!
Carder bee on Lupin
Honey bee on Lupin
Hopefully I will be seeing more of this in the summer of 2016!