Bee helpful

Reading an article about the demise of 6200 beehives here in the south of France in the last 24 months, I was curious to see how well our bee-friendly planting was looking this morning. I’m sure we don’t have anything like enough to furnish a hive, but I was pleased to see this Senecio cineraria (Silver ragwort) teeming with dozens of bees of different types.


all three

I grew some wonderful Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop) from seed I bought at Chelsea flower Show two years ago. Now it is half a metre high and I have scores of bushes dotted throughout the garden. Its vivid dark blue flowers and delicious fragrance really attract the bees. Blue seems to be a bit of a favourite with the bees – they adore the Borago officinalis (Borage) and Echium vulgare (Viper’s bugloss) which grow well on the sun-baked wildflower bank.

It’s pleasing to see that the cyclamens (known as sicklomens in this post) are recovering well and look very happy out in the sunshine on the terrace.

sicklomens two

The roses that came with them are doing just fine too. I’ll take a photo if and when they flower.

Meanwhile, we have had important house-guests for the past four weeks, so the garden has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I shall be on my own for a week from this Thursday so I’m hoping to get a heap of work done. I have all the spring beans and peas to hoik out and lots more summer vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes ready to plant out. I already have lots in place and they are fruiting well, but the next lot are for the latter part of the summer into autumn.

Mind you, it may not be too comfortable to work in the garden, nor great for planting out as the forecast is for temperatures as high as 34℃ over the next week. Yep, that’s 93℉!  Eeek!

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