I found the first Andrena fulva – tawny mining bee – whilst weeding the garden today. This is a solitary bee which nests underground, building a volcano-like mound of soil around the entrance to its burrow. They generally emerge in April, so this one is a few weeks early.
The tawny mining bee, Andrena fulva
I also found a queen wasp and two honey bees emerging from hibernation in our conservatory, where they have spent the winter.
Spring is definitely in the air; tomorrow is the Spring Equinox so we can look forward to longer days and next weekend 26 March, we move on to British Summer Time when the clocks go forward an hour.
Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
© 2017 Lavender Hedge
Who needs to buy a bee hotel? This leafcutter bee was busy making a nest inside a recessed screw hole in my hosepipe reel.
Have you found tiny little caterpillars munching away on your Aruncus Sylvestris leaves? They are the larvae of the sawfly.
Arbutus unedo, one of my favourite trees is flowering in my garden at the moment. Also known as the Strawberry tree, it has pink tinged white, bell-shaped flowers which hang in clusters from the branches and which are magnets for bees and butterflies.
The strawberry tree is full bloom is a fantastic sight
Flowers and fruit appear at the same time
These flowers will become next years fruit, which unusually appear at the same time as the flowers. The fruit is said to be edible, but doesn’t taste like a strawberry, and can be used to make jam or liqueur. The birds eat them before I get chance to!
Arbus unedo is an evergreen shrub with a bushy habit. However, you can prune the bottom branches off so that it reveals the brown-red bark which peels rather attractively. It is a member of the Ericaceae family so the leaves go yellow if it is not on acid soil – I give mine an Ericaceous feed.
Hedgehogs are known as ‘the gardener’s friend’ as they eat slugs, beetles and caterpillars and do no damage to plants or crops. Continue reading
The bright yellow faces of the sunflowers are such a cheerful sight, but the dilemma facing gardeners is whether or not to deadhead the spent flowers.
On a miserable, dull day, this little string of berries seem to light up out of the greyness! I like to grow shrubs and trees that produce berries, so that the birds have some food in the winter.
This little fellow was doing what squirrels do best, eating nuts!
A cold, foggy morning at this time of year is always exciting as there are so many cobwebs in the garden which get covered in water droplets, making them look like necklaces!
The Arbutus unedo tree flowering in my garden at the moment is a great source of food for both bees and butterflies. Captured this rather grumpy looking Red Admiral butterfly enjoying the nectar today! The tree will carry on flowering for quite a few weeks and at the same time, the fruit from last year’s flowers will ripen. It is quite a stunning sight!