February 26, 2012
Here in the north Cotswolds it has been remarkably warm this last week; so much so, we were able to eat lunch outside one day in our sheltered ‘Courtyard Potager’. Could we be fooled into thinking that spring has sprung early? Crocuses opened their delicate floral goblets wide in the sunshine and were a mass of honey bees. Remarkable, that; we usually see bumbles long before hive bees. But bumbles actually prefer wild flowers (weeds). If you have none in your garden, it pays to cultivate some! For without bees – of any sort – you will lessen the chance of a damson crop, or other early-flowering tree fruits. If the thoughts of weeds (wildlings) in your garden is anathema to you, plant up a few pots, and keep down self-setters such as annual red-deadnettle, and creepers like the perennial white variety, and the violet-scented but insidious winter heliotrope. All three are in flower now, and serve their purpose at this time of year in attracting bees.
Fly the flag for insects and creepy-crawlies
June 23, 2011
We are apt to forget that some of the smallest creatures to inhabit our gardens are as useful to its biodiversity as birds and mammals. Yet we often overlook them; or kill them without realising that by so doing we destroy the very allies that exist as our ‘little garden helpers’. Insects are one of the most successful of living organisms, and roughly half of all species on earth are insects. They have six legs and millennia ago developed the ability to fly; even beetles – watch a ladybird open its wing cases and ‘fly away home’ – or hopefully into your veg plot or flower patch to devour greenfly.