Saturday, 26 July 2014

Busy Bees in the garden and a pop-up classroom !

This weekend we have seen an influx of bees in the garden.  This summer the buzz of bees in the garden has been reduced.  There is some thought that the very wet winter and then the early spring and summer may have had an affect on wildlife, and apparently there are already signs of an early autumn.
A few weeks ago this was reported in the Guardian newspaper, with National Trust naturalist Matthew Oates, providing some of the facts:

The Heleniums - Helenium Mardi Gras, have been providing a wonderful array of colour in the garden.  This is their 2nd year and they have really 'bushed' out.  These Honeybees have been taking full advantage of the ready supply of nectar. 
Below is a what I think is a Buff-tailed bumblebee  Bombus terrestris feeding on  Knautia macedonica 'Melton Pastels' 
Below is a bumblebee (unsure of species), feeding on Helenium 
Honeybee on Verbena bonariensis
A new plant I have recently acquired is a newly introduced Echinacea.  It has a fantastic name - Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'.  Very apt for its redness !

A collection of flowers from the garden - what can you spot ?
The veg trough earlier on in the season
I feel that I have rather neglected our veg trough this year, and have not made full use of the space.  The lettuce has been good, growing Romaine in a cut and come again variety.
In addition the chard has done well, but is now being devoured by tiny caterpillars. 

The first crop of chard was softened in a saucepan with a little butter and then added to mashed potato with some grated cheese.  To finish off it was topped with mixed seeds and more cheese.  Real comfort food, yum !
Small carrots in the sketchbook.

 Now for the 'pop-up' classroom !  It's really just a gazebo that we picked up at a reasonable price.
This week my 'Workshops in the Garden' start.  There will be 3 over the summer with 3 or 4 students attending each.
As our garden is south-facing and is surrounded by a wall, it can get extremely hot and lately it has almost been a 'no-go' area in the afternoons because of the sun.
Our large sun umbrella was going to be used with the addition of another borrowed from Mum and Dad, but the gazebo does the trick providing more shelter so that all students can fit under it comfortably.
I'll post some photos from the first workshop later on in the week.
Happy painting !


  1. Beeautiful photos Sarah, lovely to see all the bees. Really love those little carrots too. Xx

  2. Thanks Claire, lovely to see the bees so active ! xx


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