Himalayan Balsam 

This invasive plant was introduced in the 18 hundreds . They were brought over as an ornamental flower as they were cheap and easy to propagate . It’s becoming a serious threat as it attracts our bees and stops them pollinating our native crops and flowers .

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They are also ruining our streams and rivers as they loosen up the banks as they rot down , making them corrode away .

I urge you all to please if you see them whilst out and about on your walks , to pull them up .

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Try and do it early summer before they set seed as they are spreading quickly

Mysterious Holes! 

Have you ever been in your garden and wondered how holes are appearing in the leaves of you shrubs ?

Image result for leaf cutter beeThe culprit is a ” Leaf Cutter Bee”

This species of bee isn’t very big but they’re very industrious . The female cuts semicircular discs from your leaves to use in their nests . They usually nest in small crevices in rotten wood .Image result for leaf cutter bee

Next time your in your garden if you notice holes in your leaves . Keep an eye out as they will be back and it’s pretty awesome to watch!

Save our Bees

IMG_3045.JPGWhy isn’t more being done to save our bees ? Neonicotinoids are believed to result in a decline of the queen bees’ life span in colonies. This causes stress on worker bees to almost constantly raise a queen bee, leading them to try and forage while too young and to often die from this dangerous task.
The truth is that without the bee to pollinate our flowers , trees and crops we will starve .

What makes things worse is it’s all our fault Pesticides!

So the only thing we can do is ,

do our bit . Planting bee friendly plants as in my previous blog . But also reduce or stop the use of chemicals .

If you have got a medium sized garden try to loosen up on the weeding as these are a vital natural food source . Or maybe dedicate one small section of your garden to allow those ugly weeds that the bees need to feed well . 

Oh and please leave some water out even just a small dishful can make all the difference!

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Bumble Bees 

It’s still a little early to see bumble bees . But the ones you’re seeing now are out to find they’re new nesting site so it’s a good time to start looking at flowers that will encourage them if you want to help these struggling and vital insects .

I have a few favourites that always seem to be swarming with bees .

Buddleia are a very good attraction to bees and butterflies hence common name “butterfly bush ” it’s really easy to grow and maintain plus you get the best of both worlds with aromatic flowers.

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Forget Me Not

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Foxgloves

although I advise against these if you have dogs as they’re poisonous to them

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Wallflowers

( very vibrant colours and extremely aromatic )

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Ceonothus

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Ribes 

A member of the currant family

Another good idea is to try a cottage garden seed mix simply scatter and see what happens.

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This was mine last year!

If you want to buy bedding plants . I’ve found poppies , French marigolds and cosmos also draw our striped friends in.

If you plant just a few of these plants in your garden you will see an increase of bees in your garden .

Have you ever looked closely at a bumble bee ? There are around 24 species of bumble be and nearly 250 species of bees in the UK!

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When these furry friends do make their way into my garden I will be sure to share more with you, but for now- why not get your garden bee ready?

Flower of the Month- April

It’s April, and we are getting closer and closer to the summer time. Spring is in full swing and we have a huge range of plants coming to life in our gardens and in the wild.

But which plant am I choosing as my flower of the month for April?

The Tulip.

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This single red tulip just opened it’s petals a few days ago in my garden- and there will be more blooming throughout this month. The tulip is a pretty flower that comes in all different colours- and is a great draw for bees and I’m sure that many of you will see these beauties appearing over the next few weeks!

What’s Flowering in March?

It looks like that short lived bit of sun here in Manchester has turned into our typical regional weather. Rain, cloud and wind.

But, on the plus side- many of the plants we have in our gardens are fully in bloom and lapping up the wet weather, and today I wanted to share with you the plants which are flowering in my garden right now…

Mimosa (acacia)

This is an incredibly bee friendly plant which thrives at this time of year

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Pieris

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Symphytum

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Bleeding Heart (dicentra)

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Wild Primrose

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Primula

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Muscari Neglectum

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Forget Me Not

Although only a few are peaking their heads up right now, in a couple of weeks my flowerbeds will be a sea of blue and pink!

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Hyacinth

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Ribes

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Osmanthus Delavayi

We planted this 12 years ago in memory of our beautiful dog- Lara. She died on the 26th March and this always flowers exactly on the day.

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And of course…

LOTS OF DAFFODILS!

(although insects have gotten to some of them)

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What’s is growing in your garden right now?