This part of the front garden border provides lots of colour near the house but I have not planted anything there for years. I first sowed forget-me-nots in the garden over ten years ago and that one sowing was all that was needed to ensure their appearance every spring. Sure they will have to be hauled out later in the year as they get untidy, but it is nice to see them again in spring. I am getting a bit worried about the white alliums though and I think I might have to be more severe this year.
Kourosh flung a handful of Honesty seeds in front of the green plastic composteur and that has created a bright screen that I expect will be self perpetuating.
The Honesty is very popular with all the pollinators and I see a lot of orange tip butterflies on it.
This is a male Anthocharis cardamines. They look so good against the purple petals, I wonder if he is just showing off.
The purple Iris outside the front walls are beautiful and provide lots of colour but I have a difference of opinion with Kourosh here that they create too much work. After the flowers have past I find that Iris stems provide ideal nursery spaces for all sorts of weeds and prevent efficient strimming along the base of the wall.
Contrary to the Iris, is the Choisya “Sundance” which is in flower just now and is a workhorse. It gives you perfumed flowers and the yellow, evergreen foliage light up the winter garden.
Another impressive evergreen is my Lonicera tatarica. It is in flower just now and survives in a dry, shaded spot in the back garden.
I don’t keep too many pots, but I love to have pots of Camassia on the patio at this time of year. They attract a lot of bumble bees, so as soon as the sun is out in the morning we are out with a coffee and the bees are on the Camassia.
The queen bumble bees make a lot of noise as they go about their morning tasks.
The Anthophora bees are frequent visitors too. This could even be a female A. plumipes as we have only the grey females here.
In the back garden it is the Victoria plum tree that attracts the bees at the moment.
I am pretty sure that this is an Andrena fulva.
However, this one I am not so sure of, but it might be an Andrena flavipes or Andrena nitida – see comments. All comers are very welcome on the plum tree.
Another flower attracting all comers is the thyme.
I started this thyme off to cover a difficult patch between two tree. I had already tried other options but this is thyme taken from patches growing wild in the garden and I have supported it by covering the edges with wood chip. The tulips are from a previous idea and I’ll let them fight it out themselves as they seem pretty determined.
I am very happy with its spread and I am considering using it in other places to inhibit weeds in sunny spots.
This is a clump of self-sown Cerinthe. Probably the biggest draw for solitary bees in the garden at the moment. It is so thickly sown that it has completely suppressed weeds (well the nasty ones, I am not counting the borage and a bit of fumitory). So, I cannot ask for more colour or more bees from this clump of flowers.