Saturday, 4 June 2016

#30DaysWild - Day 4 - Bee friendly

I got impatient today. A couple of months ago, I sowed various varieties of wildflowers in trays (Sky lupin, field scabious, primrose, cowslip, bugle) in the hope that, by now, I would have a number of plants to scatter around the border. How wrong I was; the only plants that seem to have successfully germinated so far have been the lupins, but even most of those have been eaten by slugs. I currently have five of these surviving, but they are too small to risk planting out yet.

I do already have three honeysuckles, a lavendar, two sedums and a few cosmos, but only the cosmos are currently in flower. So, I decided to go and buy some pollinator friendly plants as a ready source of nectar. I was pleased to find the following in my local garden centre:

Scabious (pink mist)

A cultivated variety of scabious rather than the wildflower I was trying to grow, it is still very attractive to pollinators - within minutes of planting out, bees were already visiting the pretty pink flowers. This is a good plant for this time of year and it should continue flowering until the first frosts (fingers crossed).

Geranium (cranesbill)

An actual geranium rather than the plant type that everyone calls 'geranium'. Again, a cultivated variety, but still seems popular with the bumblebees.

Polemonium (Jacob's ladder)

I have to admit that I had never heard of this variety of plant, but just liked it (and it had an RHS perfect for pollinators logo). After doing a bit of researching in hindsight, it also seems that, as well as being a good source of nectar, it is a food plant for some caterpillars. 

The bumblebees were a little fast to photograph, but this little solitary bee (I think?) was very obliging, posing on a few different flowers. If anyone can help with a species specific i.d. I would be very grateful.

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