Tuesday, 23 March 2010


We were down on site last weekend and had great weather. I was amazed to see some bumblebees out and about and it got me thinking. What do they feed on at this time of year?

There wasn't much in bloom that I could see.

I did some research and it has reminded me to plant some more bee friendly plants, especially for spring time. It seems that a lot of the ornamental bedding plants, e.g. big pansies just aren't as suitable for them as our natives e.g. wild violas (apparently they can balance on a small viola flower but not a blowsy pansy!)

Nearby I could see some wild primroses ..
and some lesser celandine ..

It doesn't seem much to keep them going.

Next year I'll try to have more variety for them - as they were a wonderful help in the polytunnel all summer - doing great work pollinating my crops.

So, I've looked back at some old photo's to see what else might help some bumblebees in the spring.

Narcissi are a good start .

Apple blossom will help later on.

Bluebells, of course, are a good native spring highlight.


Flowering currants are also on the 'approved' list.

There are others too. I've been searching out other flowers / wildflowers for damp soil (which is what we have) that flower early and have come up with Marsh Marigold (flowers March -May) for beside the pond, maybe Cowslips (flowers April - May), Red Campion (flowers April - June), Lady's Smock (flowering April - June) and Sweet Violet (April flowering).

Right now, there are no Marsh Marigolds by the pond - but there is some frogspawn in it.

Of course, I didn't while away the whole weekend idly watching bumblebees (and the one butterfly!) but I took the opportunity to do some maintenance on the reedbed - weeding and clearing the autumn leaves away. Here it is freshly weeded.

Here is one of the yellow iris coming into life.

Now, it's time to get back to that little project at my Aunt's house!

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