I had put aside quite lot of my Easter holiday this year to get all the main panting and seeding done in the Project B&B part of my garden. The weather has been very kind and I have managed to achieve almost all that I wanted to do, amazingly! This is a perfect time to be planting and seeding , as hopefully the warmer weather, interspersed with April showers, will get everything growing and establishing.
I seeded the top of the bank with a selection of seeds I had…..
I planted up the sunny, fence side of the area with 5 different Buddleias to create a bank of nectar rich flowers in the summer. I also planted a mixture of Echinacea (cone flower) and Leucanthemum (Daisy) as well as some Asters in the corner bed I created at the top end of the area. Seeding this with some Cosmos daisies as well, I hope this will look attractive and provide an excellent nectar bar later in the year.
Click on the image below to see the slideshow of photos from this development.
I have bought, and been given, a selection of bee hotels and I also had a go at making my own! Photos of the stages can be seen by clicking the image below. I have average DIY skills and I just made this up as I went along! I used bamboo canes from a bamboo lawn edging, stems from some teasels, florist foam and a log with various sized holes drilled in it. I put these in a simple wooden casing, make out of some wood I had in my garage! The bees are already investigating it, so have a go yourself… this only took me about an hour… and only 1 plaster was needed after the saw slipped into my thumb!
Finally, I transformed a shady, muddy and unused area of the garden. I have two quite large Oak trees in this part of the garden and the area underneath them, up against the bank had been neglected. I decided to turn it into a fern / log / minibeast type environment. I had an old rotten bench and I decided to use that as well. I found my hedgehog box fitted underneath, so I positioned that in the space.Cutting down an old tray, I made a planting area on the bench. I used cut-offs of the wildflower turf and other small bits and pieces I dug up from around the garden. I planted some ferns and hostas transported from other garden areas as well. Stacking some cut twigs and small logs, I created more habitats suitable for small creatures. I think it will mature and work well in this part of the garden. Click the image below to see more photos from this transformation.
The garden is beginning to come together now and looks really pretty as everything begins to burst into life! It has been lovely to spend some time out there this holiday. The nest few months are very busy and I will not be able to dedicate quite as much time to it… hopefully, I have placed a lot of the necessary things in place now, so just need to keep an eye on growth, water and photograph….. and wait for the wildlife to arrive!!
It was also wonderful to show two new people around my path this week… Rob Winstanley and Ron Rock. Rob does some amazing wildlife work at a super site in Cannock, as well as being on numerous wildlife committees and has his tiger in lots of really interesting wildlife pies! I have visited Rob and his ‘patch’ a couple of times this week and I know we are going to become firm friends! Ron is a bee fanatic and has done some amazing work as well! He will be visiting my patch again later in the season to help with bee ID. If you are around Lichfield next week, Ron is doing a talk on Bumble Bees for Staffs Wildlife Trust…. worth a visit, I’d say!
Finally, all the developments and photos of Project B&B can be found on this webpage on my website. Just click on the image below to see what I’ve been up to. Hopefully it will inspire you to do a bit yourself for Bees and Butterflies this summer!