There is nothing I like more than going out into the garden and hearing the buzz of bees. This week I have sat on a seat at the end of the garden and listenend to the constant hum of the bees in our cherry blossom. With less traffic noise during the lock down, noises like this seem so much more heightened. The air feels fresh and spring has never seemed so beautiful.
No matter what time of the day it is I sit there I can hear the buzz. It is the among the most relaxing moments of my day.
When ever I plant flowers in the garden I try to think bee! Even when buying roses which I love. Some roses are bee freindly, usually the more old fashioned types but many roses now are bred with petals, which are tightly bunched and cover the centre of the flower, preventing bees from reaching the pollen and nectar. When buying roses for a wildlife garden the older style, more open roses are the better choice although I do have some of the more modern types too.
One group of flowers which attract bees and butterflies more than others are wild flowers. So many look beautiful in natural gardens, attracting wildlife and are largely ignored by slugs and snails. A definite positive for anyone, like me, who doesn’t want to use slug repellents. There are so many I love Valerian, Herb Robert, Tansy and my favourite Meadowsweet.
In normal times we walk our dogs on an old droving road around what used to be an old mental hospital but is now a prison. Surrounded by fields, wildflowers are everywhere, you can walk the two mile walk without ever seeing another person. It is hard to believe it is in a London borough. From June onwards the whole path is covered in swathes of meadowsweet. How I hope we can be back on that walk again this spring. The flowers stand about four feet tall and are mainly a creamy white with the occasional pink one and smell beautiful. A few years ago at the end of the flowering season I collected some seeds and planted them in pots. For three years I nurtured my one plant that germinated and last year my little plant finally flowered.
This year I have a decision to make, is my precious little plant ready to be put in the ground? Hopefully to seed and spread and attract bees and butterflies for years to come. I worry it may not survive. Meadowsweet seeds are easily bought online for a mere 99p, but these seeds will never produce plants that take me to our favourite walking place. I’m not sure I am ready to risk losing it. Maybe just one more year nurtured in the pot!