In October I wrote about an excellent new campaign called Wild About Gardens, and how they were encouraging us to garden for the benefit of wildlife. Rather confusingly, it’s back for 2017, but now a year-round campaign rather than a one-off event…While this did cause me some initial confusion, it’s a sensible decision. Gardening for wildlife, while it doesn’t have to be difficult, does require some year-round thought.
As a challenge for 2017, why not try keep a log of all the bee species you see in your garden through the year? I’m quite lucky in that I get a range of solitary and colonial bees over the spring and summer, from familiar bumblebees through to less well known leafcutter and masonry bees. This year I’m going to record and photograph every species in my own garden.
It’s also worth noting what plants they like. I find aliums are always popular. Last year I planted borage, and this was also a big hit. Later in the year as Sedum flowers, that tends to draw in masses of honey bees too. It’s crucial to try have good plants for pollinators right through the year rather than just a peak in summer – the RHS has a good guide freely available on their website.
It’s worth remembering that wildlife is interconnected, so what you do to benefit bees will knock on through other invertebrates, on to birds and mammals. So it’s not really a narrow focus.
Incidentally reading my post from last year reminds me I need to get hold of a bat detector for when they reappear.
I should also say, the pond creation has again been stalled, hopefully to autumn of this year.