Gardening Notes for
I found our recent talk by Mark Patterson on Bees and attracting pollinators very interesting. I didnít realize there are so many different bee species. Approximately 275 species in the UK. The widespread belief that buddlia and sedum are great for attracting bees and insects he felt, were actually they are just the least worse and that so many other plants are available to attract a wider range of pollinators to your garden. Also the widely available pelargoniums- summer bedding geraniums usually in pinks/orange colour often contain no nectar or pollen for insects, summer containers would be just as colourful but more insect friendly planted with nasturtiums, marigolds and sage and thyme . Slightly worrying was the fact that a lot of seed raised plants and bulbs are already pre treated with insecticides such as neonicotinoids which have been implicated in causing death not just to some problem pests but actually all insect life. The only way to check is to question your seed and bulb supplier . Mark recommended a web site called Rosybee for a great selection of seeds and plants as well as information about the trials they run at their nursery. He has been doing his own trials re wild flower growing and highly recommends wild flower seeds from www.flowerscapes.org.uk <http://www.flowerscapes.org.uk>.
I have been busy planting a strip of grass in our garden with a succession of bulbs- from wild native tulips and daffodils as well as alliums and camassias- I am looking forward to seeing how they settle in. I am still harvesting Autumn raspberries after our fantastic run of weather. In February I shall crop them all down to a couple of cm to the ground.
I am also busy raking and storing leaves- I am trying to inter space with layers of grass from my grass clipping heap in the hope that it will all break down to a fine tilth with a dark brown crumbly texture given time. I am storing them in a large old 1m sq builders rubble sack as I plan to re-site my compost bins soon.
I shall try and keep my seed feeders topped up and plenty of fresh water for visiting birds this winter.
Keep learning about your garden,