Tuesday, July 31

I hope that that the bees like this ...

We usually devote one large bed on our plot to dahlias. After many years of keeping tubers over winter either in the ground or digging them up and storing, we decided that we would just grow dahlias from seed each year. We don't grow special varieties, we just really want some cut flowers for the house and so trying to overwinter tubers is just too much hassle. Growing from seed we can have a change of colours and flower style each year - this year we're trying pompoms. Like everything else the plants are behind but many now have developed flower buds - some of which are beginning to open. Growing from seed we have the extra anticipation of finding out what colours we end up with.
Instead of filling the bed with dahlias we decided to sow some insect friendly seeds at one end of the bed. We bought two packets of mixed seed ...
 ... and added to this some addditional annual seeds such as calendula, nasturtium and cosmos. I think next year we will try single dahlias too as I think the insects will like them better

We could have done to have sown the seed a bit more thinly as so far this is how it looks.
We also planted so sweet peas - a free packet of seed and some sunflowers.
Lots of the plants haven't flowered yet so we should end up with more colour! So far we have ...
Coincidentally there is lots of phaecelia in the mix which Martyn grew earlier as a green manure. 

I'm hoping lots of these flowers will seed themselves and produce an even better display next year - I do hope the bees enjoy them.

18 comments:

  1. You are very considerate.... thinking about insects too while going on with gardening.

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    1. Maybe the insects will repay us by thinking about pollinating our fruit next year Bangchik

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  2. It looks beautiful Sue, well done. Its the look I want to achieve next year in the narrow bit we had put by for asparagus. We have decided against the asparagus and I want a long lasting meadowy?? style of planting with beehive compost bins instead.

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    1. I think in a garden it will have longer interest value than asparagus awpol. I'm thinking I need to add some blue cornflowers next year and maybe yellow corncockle.

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  3. That is such a beautiful display! And to think not all of the flowers are even flowering yet! Beautiful. I'm sure the bees will have a lovely time with all the flowers. :)

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    1. I'm looking forward to when all the flowers join in VG

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  4. Love your wildflower patch mine has been fairly successful too with corn marigolds and corn cockle - I hope to extend it next year as it looks so beautiful - I did direct sow but they disappeared so I did the next lot in the greenhouse and planted out individually.

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    1. Ours were sown in rows Elaine. A shallow trench was filled with compost and seeds sown in that. The compost was more to demarcate the rows than anything else.

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  5. One of my dreams is to have a huge wildflower meadow - about an acre! You need lots of space for something like that.

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    1. That would be one of my dreams too Mark but I guess it will never happen!

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  6. Lovely wild patch, well done (she says with envy!) I had all the seeds ready to do a similar thing but the weather conspired against me and the ground just wasn't ready in time. Will you just let it go to seed and then cut the plants down?

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    1. I think some of the plants (not flowering yet)are perennial Bilbo but I was going to let them seed and see what happened.

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  7. I am in heaven ~ we were far too late, unorganised and lazy to do this sort of thing. I tried the first and second years but none of the wildflowers came to anything ~ you have spurred me on. :)

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    1. The flowers are more wildflower types than 'real' wild flowers Carrie. One mix was called a Mediterranean mix so not necessarily British wild flowers. I added some extras too. It's more to get the effect than to be correct!

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  8. I am sure the bees love them. The bees at the moment in our garden have to be content with brassica flowers and calendula.
    Is that Shirley poppy?
    So colourful.

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  9. The pink one certainly looks like a Shirley poppy Diana but as it was just a mixed packet of seed I can't be certain. The red one is just a native poppy though.

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  10. This looks lovely Sue. I would love to grow like this but don't have room for anything but the veggies on my plot...although I do have my little pond area which is usually alive with wildlife.

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    1. Have you any edges or patches to the site where you could do a bit of guerilla gardening Tanya?

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