Sunday, April 15

The bees will thank me!

I took lots of cuttings last year which have come through the winter with varying amounts of success. The salvia cuttings didn't survive in the cold greenhouse nor has the main plant in the front garden. I should have brought one inside but I forgot!

The lavender cuttings though have been really successful. 
They were obviously growing and so I decided to pot them into individual pots. It is fairly easy to tell which of the cuttings have rooted. The rooted cuttings lose the greyish colouring as well even before they put on new growth.
The successful cuttings had developed a really good root system.
These were potted up individually into small pots with any pieces that hadn't formed any of much root being popped back into gritty compost to give them a second chance.
I've ended up with about 20 small plants - the ones that had developed some fairly long growth have been trimmed to encourage the plants to grow bushy. Never to miss a chance I have potted the trimmings as cutting although I.m not convinced that they will grow.
I want to use the plants to complete the edging around a couple of the fruit beds on the plot as only two sides of each bed are planted with lavender at present.
I'm not sure that 20 plants with be enough so may have to repeat the process next year.

Each tear the edging is clipped back to keep it from becoming drawn and straggly. Its just a case of going other it with shears taking care not to cut back to old leafless wood.
The edging looks and smells lovely when it is in full flower and the bees and butterflies love it!
If you want to know more about how I took the cuttings click here


Co-incidentally I was recently contacted by someone called Sophie to tell me about a special project that she is working on which was launched by Rowse Honey
The project is called Thank You Bees  The aim of the project is to plant thousands of bee-friendly lavenders throughout England's community gardens. To increase publicity about the plight of bees Rowse want us to get involved by saying thanks to the bees


The idea is for us to write a thank you note to the bees on their Facebook page, (Rowse's page not the bees that is!) as a result they’ll plant a lavender plant with your message attached and send you a photo so you can see! 


So why lavender? A couple of years ago Rowse donated £100,000 to a honeybee research project, which discovered that bees love lavender most of all. If the research is correct then the bees on our allotment plot will be drunk with joy!


PS Don't forget to enter the herb competition!

28 comments:

  1. I didn't know that bees love lavender most of all. I guess I need to find a spot for some lavender at the plots.

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    1. It would be interesting to know more about this research as I would have thought that it depends when the research was carried out. I think what bees really need are flowers across the whole season rather than just one type of flower but then again I haven't done any research. The bees do love the lavender when it is out but there again other flowers are well visited too"

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  2. We love growing Lavender and the bees are always all over it!

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    1. It's great to sit and watch them isn't it Clint?

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  3. Sue, why is it that cuttings are more likely to root when they are placed around the side of a pot rather than in the centre?

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    1. This is something I first heard, I think it was, Carol Klein advocating and since it seems to be something that many gardeners swear by.

      I think for one thing the compost drains better around the edges and generally, especially when using clay pots, the soil round the edges warms up quicker.

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  4. You've done really well with the lavenders. I have a lavender plant in my border but it looks a little straggly so I may take some cuttings from it in order to replace it. I don't often take cuttings.

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  5. I remember an old farmhouse we stayed in on holiday in France had lavender down both sides of the front path and it was full of bees. Good luck with your cuttings!

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    1. We stayed in a gite in the middle of a French vineyard in a village that had a lavender essence distillery. The air was permanently filled with the smell of lavender - lovely!

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  6. Yay that's good news... Iv'e just sowed some dwarf munstead seeds yesterday.

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  7. I love your hedging Sue - I'm trying to do the same with rosemary and I had my first cutting s root recently , it's so exciting isn't it? Like you my salvias have had it - even the ones I brought inside!

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    1. The salvia cuttings had grown into small plantsto FRG and were doing OK until the reall cold blast. I should have taken one into the house I suppose or was your's actually inside in the house?

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  8. There will be plants that be forgotten to take some cuttings when you grow so many plants. I always miss out some every year. Always wanted to grow lavender. At the moment, we don't have space for it but my front neighbour have them and it thrive with neglect. Your plot will be swarming with bees for sure.

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    1. Lavender should do well in your climate I would think Diana.

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  9. I enjoyed your post on lavenders. I definitely need to give taking cuttings a go. Looks easier than growing from seed too.

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  10. It's quicker to get small plants to plant out too Kelli.

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  11. My daughter runs away screaming whenever she sees lavender because she thinks it always has bees near it. Seems she has good reason to. having said that I don't know why she's so worried by bees.....

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    1. Has she ever been stung Liz? My grandada used to stroker the bumble bees and they never objected so from an early age I saw them as friendly.

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  12. ggrrrr I need to do this myself as 6 or our lavendar plants died in the winter and we only have 2 left. they are so easy to take cuttings from - this time next year I shall have hundreds (some for plots, some for guerilla planting)!!

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    1. I'm surprised that some died off Carrie - they seem pretty tough cookies. Anyway as you say you can get plenty more from the two survivors.

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  13. I think I will also please the bees as I am a lavender lover too....and I also love bees.....I think I will do some cuttings this year to grow some more...you can't beat the smell of lavender!!

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    1. The scent of lavender is supposed to be relaxing Tanya

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  14. Lavender will make your bed edge so pretty! FOr sure bees love your garden!

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    1. It soes look lovely when the flowers are all out Malar.

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  15. What a brilliant result. I wish I could work out where in this garden to plant lavender - our soil tends to be so wet during winter and they really prefer much drier roots when dormant.

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    1. Our lavender is planted in heavy clay that gets very wet BW so maybe its worth a chance - or maybe in a sort of raised bed.

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