Tuesday, 29 July 2014


No shortage of fresh produce from the plot at this time of year. The peas are over but there's runner and climbing French beans, carrots, cabbages, kale, tomatoes, wild rocket and mizuna, blackberries, raspberries and cherry plums.

A heatwave in the middle of the month has brought out plenty of butterflies and there's been no shortage of bees either. Plenty of nectar rich plants for them here of course - just about everything that was flowering last July is at it again, plus a few new ones too.

Also around this month is the beautiful white plume moth. I call them angel moths, although that's probably something altogether different . Apparently the caterpillars feed on bindweed. I knew it must be useful for something - so now I know.


New this year and all grown from seed.

Echium plantanigium "Dwarf Blue Bedder" - the cultivated variety of the wild E. vulgare or Vipers Bugloss - very popular with the bees as unlike most flowering plants it gives off nectar all day long. Like phacelia the stems uncurl producing more and more flowers.

Madia elegans "Tropical Fruits" - another one popular with the bees and smells like pineapple. Fruity.

Cosmos "Pied Piper". Cosmos are a useful plant for the bees as they'll go on flowering right up to the first frosts if dead-headed regularly. This new one has these rather funky fluted petals.

Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop) - another useful addition, this tender perennial smells of liquorice.

 Nicotiana alata "Lime Green" - I couldn't resist the unusual colour of this one. Good for moths and smells lush too.

 Achillea "Summer Pastels" - the shape of achillea flowers make the perfect landing pad for butterflies.
 Salvia farinacia "Victoria". Another tender perennial for the bees.

Heliotrope "Marine". So many bedding plants are hopeless for bees and butterflies (think geraniums and begonias) but not so this Victorian favorite. Excellent in the ground or pots.  


The scabious family is worth a mention of it's own as they're so good for attracting the bees and butterflies. Earlier in the summer the giant scabious Cephaloria gigantia was out and now there's a few more of the tribe, all grown from seed: the wild field scabious (Knautia arvensis), the perennial S. caucasia "Perfect Blue" and two annuals - "Tall Double Mixed" - which got through the winter and is flowering for a second summer - and new this year "Cambridge Blue".

Meadow mix

Nearing the end of the month now and the meadow mix is in full swing...

...with poppies, bishop's flower and a smattering of cornflowers:
The bees just love hitting those poppies first thing in the morning.