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Bees do have a smell

Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

It’s good to think that the garden is doing its bit to help our local bees. For a start, we give them water in a small container filled with glass pebbles in dinosaur world. This way they don’t get dragged down into the water and have someone safe to stand. I have no idea where their hive is. But as bees can easily travel 2 miles from their hive to forage it could be quite some distance away.

We also have a garden of lovely flowers like nasturtium, salvia and sunflowers full of nectar for the bees. So when you come to the garden to relax, sit and watch how busy all the insects are. One of their favourites is our lavender. As well as being liked by the bees it is grown as a companion plant because it’s strong smell confuses pests. So planting it near to the veg is a good idea.

This week I have continued planting according to the moon. And it’s the time for planting things that grow above ground. So I’ve sown some kale and broccoli for the winter. We are still picking red tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and chard. And our volunteer Fred is loving our salad leaves. He likes his freshly picked and without chemicals.

One big worry is the cabbage white butterfly laying eggs on our cabbages. Apparently to keep them away you plant nettles by them, as butterflies find nettles attractive. But that doesn’t mean we will be growing them in the garden, even if they do make good plant food too.

One of my jobs this week has been to take cuttings from the geraniums we have around the garden. It’s a plant that seems to do well in the garden, despite the dry weather. We are hoping to produce lots more which we will hopefully be able to over winter ready to put out next year. I’ve planted the cuttings into troughs with the stems dipped into a hormone powder which I hope will help them root. I’ve also taken some cuttings home to put in water on the window ledge. I like the way you can see the roots developing that way.

Blooming Old Gardener

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