Sunday 15 March
Having finished all the weeding and taken note of where all the perennials and bulbs were coming through we began mulching the beds with chipped bark, I have to confess that the bales have been sitting at the back of the garage for the last two years waiting for an opportune moment to get stuck in and put it on the beds! It was either too wet, too dry, there were too many weeds or we were busy doing something else. However this is the year I got organised! Hubby split the bags and threw it in heaps on the beds and I spread it all around – carefully avoiding the emerging Dicentra and other tender new growth. I daren’t actually let my husband onto the borders at this time of year. It’s either his feet treading on poor little shoots or his hoe slicing the heads off, when I complain he says they succumbed to a sudden attack of ‘steel fly’ from his hoe! I blame his father as ‘steel fly’ is always his excuse for many a fledgling plant being decapitated! It obviously runs in the family.
In a week or so I will be planting Bumblebee Margin Mix somewhere near the vegetable plot, I’m just not quite sure where as yet! I’ll have to see where I can spare some space. This mix contains Borage, Phacelia and Essex Red Clover – a real magnet for bees and planting these near your plot can have a huge effect on improving pollination and crop yields in the kitchen garden. Especially useful for pollination of plants such as courgettes, tomatoes and beans.
More and more gardens are becoming a haven for wildlife and possibly the saviour of some species! By planting nectar and pollen rich flowers in our gardens we can all help to do our bit for the local bee population. There are many other annual plants that can be grown to encourage insects such as the Bee and Butterfly Mix, Cornflowers, Scabious, Love in a Mist and Limnanthes (Poached Egg Plant) to mention just a few. These are all easy to grow and can be sown directly where you want them to flower.