Tag Archive | Bees

My Wildflower Patch – Four Months Of Flowers

My wildflower patch has finally given up flowering.  For four months solid, it flowered beautifully, for the price of a few packets of seed.  I am so very proud of it, especially as it’s my first attempt at growing wildflowers.

As it’s cold and miserable outside, I thought it would be nice to show you a slide show of the four months of my wild flowers, so we can dream of summer again.  They flowered from the middle of June until the middle of October, which is four months!  I certainly got my money’s worth out of those seeds.  I find this incredible and the whole time they were full of beneficial insects.

I planted my wildflower patch after I was inspired by Sarah Raven’s television program called  ‘Bees, butterflies and Blooms’.

Sarah Raven explained how 98% of Britain’s wildflower meadows and grass lands have been lost and how the world’s bees and other pollinating insects are in crisis and without these pollinators our future food security is under threat.   Her mission was to encourage farmers and village communities to help recreate a network of habitats for struggling bees, butterflies and pollinating insects.

I was blown away by the beauty of the wildflowers that she showed on her program and I wasn’t the only one to feel this way either.  In fact, the designers of the 10 football fields-worth of wildflowers, at this years Olympics, were influenced by Sarah Raven’s TV program.  Also, wildflowers sales have apparently tripled this year.

You can read how I grew them from seed here and here.

After seeing my wildflower patch and learning how easy it is to maintain the flowers (I virtually did nothing to them after I had sowed the seeds), I can’t understand why councils don’t use wildflowers more.  Councils tend to plant row after row of expensive carpet bedding, in the middle of roundabouts and parks, but if they sowed wildflowers instead, surely this would reduce maintenence costs for them and they would still look stunning, if not better.  There is also the advantage of the wildlife they attract due to the flowers.  I can’t remember a day that my small patch wasn’t full of bees, butterflies and insects of all kinds….this just doesn’t happen with row after row of carpet bedding plants, that have been bred to have double flowers for beauty, but no pollen for insects.

Next year, if you see an area of carpet bedding, please stop and watch to see if there is any insect activity and I’m sure you will be surprised, as I was when it was first pointed out to me.

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I hope you enjoy the slideshow.

Click once on the top left picture and it will start a slide show for you.

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I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

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Bees, Butterflies and Blooms and an Unexpected Bonus

My wildflower patch is still flowering beautifully and I am so proud of it, as it’s my first attempt at growing wildflowers.

I planted my wildflower patch after I was inspired by Sarah Raven’s television program called  ‘Bees, butterflies and Blooms’.

You can read how I grew it from seed here (underneath todays post on August 15th)

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Every time I look at it, I see new flowers.

When I take the time to stand and stare, my breath is taken away by the incredible amount of activity that is going on.  There are so many different types of insects, bees and butterflies, enjoying the flowers.

I sense that this must be how mother nature intended our gardens to be.  It’s such a shame, as with all the chemicals that have been used since wartime, we have been reducing the population of these insects.

I feel very strongly that we must now help these insects to survive.

Early this morning, I felt the distinct feeling that summer is nearly over and autumn is approaching fast.

This always make me feel a little bit sad.

As a gardener, I think you sense the changes in the seasons before others do.

I found something on ‘You Tube’ today that I thought I’d share with you.

If you read my blog regularly, you will know I have an insatiable love of flowers and the beneficial insects they attract.  This video shows some wonderful flowers and insects, whilst reminding us that Summer is nearly over.

It’s called Summers Last Gasp:

The ghost in the garden feels the season march by.
Butterflies and bees poke blooms in the eye.
Shivering leaves change color and die.
Big dipper drips dew from a clear night sky.
Warm sun cools, summer could cry…
Goodbye.

The link to it is here

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I have a large black barrel at my allotment, that Eric (the previous allotment plot holder), used to grow watercress in.

You can see it in the picture below, next to where my wildflowers are now planted.

  Eric always said watercress grew well there, as the tub was big enough to keep the soil damp.

Eric taught me so much about growing vegetables.

In the spring, I stripped the top couple of inches of soil and replaced it with some compost and grew a good crop of watercress.  In the middle of July it had gone to seed, so I pulled it all up and never gave it another thought until this morning, when I found it had self-seeded and given me a second crop. So this really is a bonus I wasn’t expecting.

Thank you for reading my blog today.