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Early summer gardening for bumblebees

My garden has once again began to take on its summer colours. As the last tulips and dicentra go over and the final few muscari and daffodils get deadheaded, a new bunch of blooms are opening.

My aquilegias and Jacob’s ladders (pictured right) have flowered almost simultaneously. They do well in the pots in my patios, as the soil in the flower beds is pretty difficult to work with -  thick clay that’s been compacted and ruined by diggers when the house was being built: it’s traumatised, but it will recover some day. The scent of the Jacob’s ladder is wonderful: somewhere between viola and lemon. The aquilegias are beautiful too, and many bees will bite holes in the back of the flowers to reach the nectar as the flowers are so deep.

Other treats include the saxifrages which I bought last year and have spread remarkably well, holding their white or red blooms above their shaggy leaves. The promise of delicious wild strawberries (so much sweeter and tastier than the big ones) is also there, with the small white flowers now opened. The alliums have opened too, and their big heads with hundreds of individual flowers are very attractive to bees.

I can see flower buds on so many other plants that remind me of the spectacle to come in my own garden, and every other one I’m going to see this summer.

I also like to have wildflowers in my garden, and red dead nettle (normally considered a weed - pictured right) is welcome, as is herb robert, red campion and a manageable number of dandelions.

The photo below gives an idea of the bee-kind plants I have: alliums, dicentra, saxifrage, white campion and red campion all in a small area! Happy gardening.

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