Sunday 21 June 2009

Bombus Lapidarius

...or red-tailed bumblebee to you and me. I'm pleased to see that the wildlife border which I created in April is springing to life and attracting beneficial insects which it was intended to do. This bee has landed on a Cornflower - Centaurea Cyanus. I'm not very good at distinguishing between the different bumblebees, but Gardener's World did an article in their May issue and I now use this as a reference. The red-tailed bumblebee has a mostly black body and red tail. It nests underground or in holes in stone walls. I'm always on the lookout for more bee and butterfly attracting plants to add to my garden so I'd be interested to know which plants work for you.

Seed sowing, potting on, and planting out seems to have slowed down at home at the moment. My window ledges are now free from plants as they have either been planted out at the allotment or moved outside. My thoughts have now been about getting some biennial seeds sown, such as Foxgloves and Wallflowers. It seems early to be thinking about flowers for next year, but if I don't get them done now the schools will have broken up for summer, summer holiday's will take over, and I'll have missed the boat completely.

My tomatoes are now flowering, but still no sign of any fruit. The cucumber plant - Bush Champion, however, has formed a small cucumber. I have never grown this variety before and the fruit looks rather 'nobbly'. Sadly, there is still no sign of any flowers on the aubergine plant, but it's producing lots of new leaves, so it's still happy at the moment.

The blueberry plants now have lots of lovely berries on them. They're already turning from green to a pinkish colour, so I'll have to wait a while longer before they will be ready to harvest.


  1. The bees are enjoying the annual cerinthe major on my allotment just now. I have just sown some variegated white honesty - how quickly the year is flying :)

  2. I never knew that there were so many different types of bumble bee. I find that borage and calendula really gets them going. They almost fight over the blossoms! Val

  3. I find the bees love:

    Masterwort - they LOVE this
    Californian Poppy
    Hardy Geraniums

    And many more!

  4. I've planted load of things that are beneficial to bees, but they just seem to love the clover that's growing in my lawn! Oh the shame...

  5. Yeah, bees! :) I too love to see them around my plot. Phacelia is also great for them.

  6. AnonymousJune 24, 2009

    Bees - my favourites! On my plot they are all over the comfrey at the moment.

  7. Thank you for visiting my blog, Anna, Valeri and Liz.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I do have some of the plants you have mentioned, but I have taken note of the ones which I don't have and I'll look out for them.

    Yes Anna, I can't believe how fast this year is going. Only three weeks left of the school year.

    I didn't realise there were so many types of bumblebee either Valeri. Now when I see one, I always look to see if I can tell which type it is.

    Hmmm, I've got clover in my lawn too, Squarefoothammer. At least the bees like it.

  8. Another bee fan here. Now that the Chives and the Aquilegias have pretty much gone over the favourites here are Rue and Jasmine. I agree they are not easy to identify but I've seen lots of buff-tailed ones recently.

    G x

  9. Scabious, lavender and Bacopa, a white trailing plant I used in basket and mixed pots, seem to be the most exciting things in my garden at the moment. The wiegela bush was alive with them a couple of weeks ago. Peas and beans very popular on the allotment.

  10. I'm really enjoying trying to identify the different bees, Georgie. I never realised there were so many.

    My beans aren't yet flowering, but I'm hoping that the bees will find them irresistible when they do, Scattered Gardener.


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