I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bee aware....

You read a lot about how we need to provide more for all the bees in our gardens and with the continued cold spring we've experienced this year , it has made me think even more carefully about what we should be planting to provide an adequate source of pollen for all types of bees and butterflies as some have already come out of hibernation here! (Brave!) 

Over the last few weeks I've seen a variety of different bees in the garden including Honey Bee and various Bumble Bees plus Peacock, Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Brimstone Butterflies too.  Many of the plants I've taken photos of are great pollen providers early in the season and reasonably easy to grow too.

There are plenty of wildflowers in our woodland area - the Primroses have spread like mad over the past few years as we've cleared more areas...

There are also wide margins of wild planting - including, at this time of year plenty of little yellow Celandine.

Another of my Spring favorites are the little Anenome Blanda that have only been out properly these last 10 days - a great early flowering plant for providing plenty of pollen for insects - easily accessed with its open flowering form.

Every garden has to make space for one of my favorite Viburnums - the perfume of the blooms which are just starting to emerge is incredible!  Viburnum x burkwoodii loves a sheltered spot with some sun.
This is the early flowering Lonicera fragrantissima - again the perfume is amazing - flowers on bare stems - the leaves follow... ideal shrub for planting a later flowering clematis up through... giving all year round interest.

Talking of Clematis - the two I've photographed here are not fully out, but definitely worth condsidering  - this one is Clematis macropetela "Jan Lindmark" - a small bell-shaped nodding double flowered clematis with beautiful seed heads to follow.

The other which is a new one - Clematis macropetala "Octopus" is fantastic and out rather early consideirng the weather and that it is supposed to bloom April/May!

I'm afraid I couldn't resist putting a few more photos of the Hellebores this year - it's been a particularly good year for them - so many different colours and markings - many which have cross pollinated with others. 

Forsythia is also out late this year but a real favorite for pollinating insects!

This Comfrey plant was smothered in bees the other day - once this is over, the leaves make a great plant feed or addition to the compost heap!

These two different photos of Erysimum are also invaluable for bees and insects alike.

This particular variety is Erysimum linifolium "Variegatum" and like other varities fully hardy.
This Ribes sanguinium (Flowering Currant) was taken as a cutting a few years back - it certainly adds plenty of vibrant colour to the mixed border at this time of year.

Pulmonaria is great for most pollinating insects and being one of the earliest flowering perennials in the garden, also providing good ground cover, I couldn't leave this one out!

Rosemary is another must for the early flowering garden... planted up against a sunny wall, it has been in flower for the past 3-4 weeks and on sunny days smothered with bees!

This early flowering Camelia was in our garden when we arrived - it normally flowers early - it's open form is great for bees and provides a shelter for the birds as well! My guess is it is japonica Adophe Adusson... any thoughts?!

Seeing raised temperatures on the forecast for next weekend at 20 degrees I will await with baited breath - that said do remember the difficult plight of may of the insects, bees and butterflies in the garden who play such an important role in the garden - we'd be lost without them - so  we maybe need to give them more consideration...

" Bees work for man, and yet they never bruise Their Master's flower, but leave it having done, As fair as ever and as fit to use; So both the flower doth stay and honey run." George Herbert

The Bee Garden
If you want to read more on the subject of planting to help bees - try "The Bee Garden" by Maureen Little - this is full of helpful information and some great photos too


Sue Garrett said...

I do try to garden with bees in mind but this years everything is slow to flower - your garden is much further forward than ours.

Richard Noel said...

Great Pics Miranda !!!

Anna said...

Sue has taken the words out of my mouth :) Maureen Little is the speaker at our garden club meeting in May. I'm really looking forward to her talk :)

Angie said...

What a lovely selection of blooms you've got going on. It do try too choose plants that encourage bees, buterflies and other pollinators.
I just wish I could see 1 bee in the garden. There are a few plants flowering but it's just too cold for them I think!

Nelson said...

WOW!! The garden is so lovely..

Miranda Bell said...

Thank you all v. much for taking the time to leave your kind comments on my blog - hope you all have a great weekend... do visit again soon... Miranda

Jane Scunthorpe said...

Hi Miranda, this has been my first visit to you, and very enjoyable it was ! Interesting to see all the bee-friendly plants, as it is something which we all need to be aware of. It is so lovely to have the garden alive again , with the sound of the insects, particularly the bees.

Garden Clean Up said...

Hi Miranda, you have some stunning photos on here, a real feast for the eyes. Just wanted to add that as a professional gardener you cant go past daises when it comes to attracting bees. Keep up the good work

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Jane - sorry it's taken me a while to reply to your kind posting.. a busy gardening week! The bees are really enjoying the ever so slightly warmer weather here but nothing of what the temperatures normally are in mid-May...

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Garden Clean Up

You're completely right about the daisies... the garden will be full of them v.shortly and full of many bees buzzing around... weather here still quite cool for May. Thanks for visiting!