A tour around my garden

Some of my previous blogs have looked at how to garden for bumblebees, so I thought that it was about time that I took you on a tour of my garden so you can see how it grows.

When I first moved into this house, the garden wasn’t bad for bees. There are a few shrubs which are beneficial (potentilla, buddleia, hebe, cotoneaster and roses) but not very much else. As it’s a rented house, I didn’t want to do too much radical work (e.g. replacing the lawn with a meadow), but I found ways to work with what I have available to me.

So the first thing I see when I enter the garden via the patio doors is my collection of plants in pots which sit on the raised paved area. Previously this area had no plants, but because I was struggling with the soil here (thick clay which bakes hard in the sun), I had to put many plants in pots. I actually quite like this though, as it means the plants come right up to the glass doors and can always be seen up close.

Crammed onto this patio you’ll see: rudbeckia, salvia ‘ hot lips’, polemonium, alpine strawberries, dahlia, rose, cosmos, astilbe, spirea, cornflower, geranium, snapdragon and scabious.

While much of the rest of the back garden is grassed over, the beds are looking great right now, and in the photo below you’ll see some of the flowers. The majority of the colour here is thanks to those plants which I’ve grown myself this year – rudbeckia, cornflower, viper’s bugloss, cosmos and sweet pea. But I’ve also bought a few, and the borage and echinacea were both from garden centres.

Moving on to the front garden then, I’ve been making more good use of pots, which are covering drain covers in the two photos below. I’ve struggled with some of these plants this year because of the long dry spell we had earlier, when it didn’t rain for three whole weeks! But they’ve come through it, and while they’re not looking their best at the moment, gave a fantastic show last month. The sweet peas are doing well and growing up the cherry tree, and I’ve planted that area with yet more wildflowers to brighten it up. The tree doesn’t look like much, but I’m happy that it’s supporting other plants.

Finally, we come to another area around a tree, featuring yet more cornflowers! This patch also has some viper’s bugloss, which is probably the plant which gets most bumblebee-visitors in my garden.

So there we have it – my garden! I hope it gives you some inspiration for your own garden. If you'd like to found out what other plants are good for bumblebees, visit our Bee kind website by clicking here.

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