London Pride ready to open flower on the steps at Bealtaine Cottage.
Years of pushing and shoving by these delicate looking little plants have finally eradicated the creeping buttercup in the heavy clay soil.
It’s at this time of year that bees are working hard and sometimes gardens are bereft of food for the bees.
I have a policy that is enshrined in Bealtaine cottage gardens…plant for the bees, the birds and then myself, always in that order!
This is the tropical Cordyline, growing here thanks to the Gulf Stream.
That means an early start to the growing year and bees follow the same pattern, sometimes emerging as early as late February!
So food at the ready is vital for them!
Ribes, or flowering currant, is a wonderful source of nectar for the hungry bees!
The smallest bit of sunshine and the garden starts to look like paradise!
Missy passes a lush looking Comfrey.
The flowers of the Comfrey plant are truly Bee-Loved, as are the flowers of the humble and easy to grow Nasturtium!
The leaves of the Comfrey will be cut and scattered around the apple trees, creating a source of liquid feed as the rain falls…as it does frequently here in the West of Ireland!
These trees never disappoint, year after year, with heavy blossom and heavy crops of perfect apples that have never been sprayed…never!
The bees are busy into the night around the orchards.
So plant fruit trees for the bees too!
And here you can see the apple under-planted with blackcurrants…much Bee-Loved!
Here you can see Honesty in flower under the Blackcurrants…a delight for the bees and sweet-smelling too!
In the case of the Cotoneaster above, food for the bees and the birds!
The trick is to ensure there is succession planting for the bees.
Hungry bees won’t hang around hungry gardens!