10:41am Thursday 17th February 2011
I AM planning to do my bit to help the bees. Of course, I need bees to pollinate vegetables such as runner beans, squashes and flowers such as sweet peas, and I already plant rows of Borage near to the beans, whose blue starry shaped flowers, bees absolutely love.
And the Comfrey plant doubles up as a bee-attractant and an organic liquid fertiliser.
But I would like to do a bit more than that and have cleared a strip of the allotment which had been taken over by couch grass to sow some bee-friendly wildflowers native to Britain such as Greater Knapweed, Corn Marigold, Scabious and Common Poppy.
There are plenty of seed suppliers offering packets of seeds which already contain a mix of wildflower seeds, which I shall take advantage of, and sowing has been pencilled in for early March as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
Honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees all need pollen and nectar to survive and I hope that, by creating a bee-friendly habitat, the plot will be rewarded. I rather like the idea that anywhere where there is a piece of unplanted ground (which hasn’t been designated for vegetables), wildflower seed can be spread or raked-in vigilante fashion. It would be great if everyone became guerilla gardeners and planted wildflower seeds in derelict spaces, it is certainly tempting as I shall have more seed than I need.
Mini wildflower meadows can thrive in some pretty remote places such as brick rubble and crushed concrete, according to Landlife, the charity, which established the first wildflower centre in Merseyside in 2000.
Topsoil and grass offers very little for wildlife, but planted with wildflowers become havens for birds and bees. There are many websites offering advice on bee-friendly planting and you can find out more about the work of Landlife at wildflower.co.uk.
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