Flower of the Month- June

My front garden is currently a sea of pink, so because of this I would like to introduce my flower of the month for June… Cistus Purpureus!

These colourful, big flowers instantly bring life to any garden!

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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

Frogs and Toads

camcorder 2 073camcorder 2 074camcorder 2 414Frogs or toads what can I say , they’re marmite aren’t they ? You either love them or hate them !

They’re a natural pesticide. Yes they’re slimy and yes they’re cold but they will reduce the need for slug pellets which are harmful to pets and other invertebrates which are so important to the natural balance of the landscape , 

I love it in the summer when there’s a rainstorm .they all come out of the woodwork.

This mild spring has caused me an issue . I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many tadpoles in my pond . So I’m going to give them a bit of extra help as the pond isn’t big enough to sustain this many. You find out more in my Frog Spawn and Tadpoles post…

The main thing which helps keep these little creatures thriving is regular water top ups to help keep the water fresh . And plenty of pond weed to oxygenate it.

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I’ve also installed a solar water fountain to also help oxygenate the water.

Also I’m going to feed them . Any freshwater fish food will do- however pellets are better as they float on the surface. I also slice up any leftover cucumber and throw that in. You could even throw them a few bits of raw chicken or beef (the bits you cut off and usually throw in the bin) and they love it- but if your struggling to keep the water fresh leave this out. If you look after your tadpoles in this way, soon enough you’ll have loads of tiny froglets emerging from your pond!

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I will of course be sharing regular updates on my tadpoles as they develop fully into frogs.

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?