Guest blogger Claire Jones is looking forward to summer in the garden and hoping for plenty of bees and butterflies.
This is the time of year for wild dreams, when it comes to plans for the summer garden. It’s time to get the old shoebox full of seeds down from the shelf, draw up a new plan in the garden notebook and make an unrealistic list of everything to be grown.
Over the past couple of years I’ve started growing flowers that pollinators love and it has completely transformed the garden and the allotment. There are bees around all summer as well as hoverflies, butterflies and other little winged beasties. And that has made a big difference.
The garden has a new dimension. A wander down the path isn’t just about seeing what’s in bloom and what vegetables are ready to to be harvested, it’s also about looking for bees and butterflies and seeing what new or unusual creatures there are buzzing around. It’s such a pleasure to sit in the warmth of a summer afternoon and just watch the bees working their way from one flower to the next, seeing which ones they like most and observing their behaviour.
I’m gathering packets of seeds together and sowing as many different things I can on windowsills and in the greenhouse. I’m finding new things to try and making sure there are plenty of favourites, both the bees’ and mine.
The old favourites will include cosmos, always incredibly attractive to bees, scabious, nigella, sweet peas, rudbeckia, verbena bonariensis, cornflowers and open flowered dahlias, a jumbled mix of dark reds, pinks, purples and white.
I’ll dot the flowers around in the garden and down on the plot wherever I have room. Some will be a triumph, some will no doubt disappear without trace, but if I’m lucky the flowers will live up to my springtime dreams and there will be bees and butterflies aplenty.
Thanks for reading!
Claire Jones lives in a small market town in the southwest of England where she grows her own fruit and vegetables, both in the garden and on her allotment. She always believes that this will be the year of bumper harvests.