Saturday, 12 February 2011

To Bee Or Not To Bee

The spring bulbs have been slow to bloom here, I've only just started to notice snowdrops, but now that I have it seems that everything is blooming at once. Along with the snowdrops there are crocus blooming, and the daffodils and tulips aren't far behind. Honey bees will seek out spring bulbs to forage for the nectar, we saw this one today just leaving a crocus.

I've been very good and have so far resisted planting any seeds. It's always tempting to start things off far too early, in which case they usually grow leggy. I will be starting off my pepper seeds this weekend though. I've held off long enough now and if they do grow leggy there's always time to start off some more.

The high winds from last week returned on Monday, though they weren't quite as bad as they had previously been. The rest of the week was fine and the sun put in an appearance. It's been a glorious day today. The sun has been shining and it's been quite warm. I should have really spent some time at the allotment, but we took advantage of the lovely day and had a day out instead. Rain is forcast for tomorrow so we had to make the most of some fine weather.


  1. we have had the first signs of spring too..though I haven't seen any bess yet but plenty of ladybirds!!

    Ive been good on holding off on planting my seeds this year too but plan on getting my compost ready for next weekend.

    weather has been changeable here today..with sun a and rain intermittently!!!

  2. I haven't noticed any bees yet but it's great to see the flowers arriving. The hellebores that I planted last year are just coming into flower - I can't wait to see if the colours are what I expected.

  3. I'm thinking about my chillis too this weekend - well done for holding off. Windy here again too - today bonkers - I spied a lonely snow drop in a pot I'd moved from teh old house - which was lovely - but bobbing about in the wind!
    Glad you've the signs of spring there - lovely photo - a bee now - wow!

  4. Re sowing seeds - I'm also holding off still. Having seen the weather forecast for the coming week, I think it is just as well that I haven't sown anything yet. Maybe like you I'll get some chillis going tomorrow. They may not thank me for it, but it will make me feel better!

  5. Wow, a bee already. I haven't seen any sign of bees or ladybugs yet. Nice to see. I was hoping to start chillis and peppers this weekend but don't think I'm gonna manage it. K.

  6. I've seen ladybirds but no bees yet. I bought some seed today (hadn't planned to but just seemed to arrive at the garden centre!) - will hold off planting for a few weeks though I think, maybe!

  7. You're doing well to hold off sowing Jo. I've got about half a dozen peppers that have just germinated and need pricking out. Hopefully life on a south facing windowsill will keep them happy for a few weeks.

  8. It's lovely to hear the bees buzzing around again. I am impatient to start sowing seeds but i'll try to wait a while yet, they always catch up anyway.

  9. No bees here yet, then again no sun either so the crocus remain resolutely closed. Lots of ladybirds though, and I succumbed and sowed some chillies. I have enough seed over to repeat sow if these go all leggy on me. Am holding off on the tomatoes though, and repeating to myself the mantra "they will catch up and be healthier, they will catch up and be healthier..."

  10. I saw honey bees on my crocus on Saturday. A plot neighbour keeps several hives so they're always buzzing round the allotments.
    Like Plantaliscious I also saw lots of ladybirds, which slighty surprised me. Flighty xx

  11. Haven't seen any bees yet and I always worry when I do see them out early. No ladybirds outside either although we do have a few in the house; not sure if they've been here all winter but I keep spying them and pop them onto a pot plant.
    it's good to have a day out :)

  12. It is very cold here and I am sure that there are no bees yet. But I have noticed all the early spring flowers in bloom. Bees will be here in a week or two.
    It is so hard to resist sowing seeds, isn't it? Next week is my day for sowing peppers.

  13. I haven't seen any ladybirds yet this year, Tanya. I was surprised to see the bees about, but I'm sure it was just because it was such a lovely day.

    I love hellebores, Sue. It will be exciting seeing them bloom for the first time. I hope you get the colours you want.

    The wind died down last Monday here, Fay. That's my worst sort of weather so I don't envy you.

    It's so hard at this time of year to hold off the sowing, Mark. I figure that if I just sow something it will allow me to hold off everything else for a little while longer.

    I think these bees were around as it was such a nice day, Kelli. Also, their hives were very close by so they may have just been stocking up on nectar whilst the sun was shining.

    I'm the other way round, Su, I haven't seen any ladybirds yet. I don't know how it happens that we don't mean to buy seed but somehow we do, I think we're all the same.

    It's great to see the first signs of life again, Damo. I'm sure your peppers will do fine on the windowsill.

    They do catch up, Plotkeeper, though I'm always eager to get something started early. It's so exciting at the start of the season.

    That's a good mantra, Plantaliscious. I'm determined not to sow my tomatoes too early this year, they do catch up and don't get leggy.

    I'm surprised that people are seeing ladybirds too, Flighty. How lovely to have bee hives on the allotment, you should get good pollination.

    I haven't seen ladybirds in or out yet, Mo. The bees weren't far from their hives so I'm sure they'll stay tucked up if the weather turns again.

    Once the flowers are blooming the bees soon follow, Ana. It is hard to hold off sowing when you're raring to get going.

  14. We have snowdrops here - although later than normal don't you think? I too am keen to get into my greenhouse so I am having a sort out and have people coming to collect via freecycle - then I'll get stuck in! Cold today however. Meal was lovely last night - thsnks.

  15. Dear Jo, Lovely signs of spring in your garden. My mum in Staffs tells me her crocuses and daffodils are putting on their spring show, too. A wonderful new garden year is truly beginning. P x

  16. It's amazing how things suddenly appear out of nowhere. No bees or ladybirds here yet or perhaps I have just missed them :)

  17. Oooh, a bee! Now that's really exciting.

  18. We saw our first bumblebee on the 2nd Feb - seems incredibly early! Lots of snowdrops here too, making me very excited about the coming of spring!

  19. Your crocus looks great! here bulbs still need a bit more to open. Hopefully they will soon

  20. I have also resisted sowing seeds yet - the soil still seems too cold and damp to me. The greenhouse is still pretty cold too. Spring is around the corner though....

  21. I do think the snowdrops are later this year, Denise. Freecycle is a great way of passing on unwanted items, I've got rid of loads of things that way, and I know that someone is making use of them rather than them being thrown away.

    It won't be long until everything is blooming away again, Pam. There's lots of signs of spring around now.

    It was ages before I started seeing snowdrops or crocus, Anna. Now they're everywhere I look. The bees and ladybirds will be around soon enough, I think it's a little early for them yet.

    We were near the hives when I saw the bee, Linda. I haven't seen any in the garden yet.

    It is early to be seeing bees, Nome. I hope the milder weather hasn't tricked them in to thinking it's spring.

    The snowdrops and crocus are out, fer, but the daffodils and tulips aren't yet, though it won't be long.

    The greenhouse is still cold, Mark, there isn't enough sun around to warm it up. It will be a while before I start sowing anything direct, the ground is just too claggy.


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