For yesterday’s #SixonSaturday I was counting bees, or at least counting the flowers that the bees like in my garden. I found my six: foxglove, sage, chives, comfrey, yellow poppies, cotoneaster
but there were more: raspberries, wild roses, rocket, red campion, clover, nearly all self-seeded and thrown around the garden.
The sage and the raspberries and the chives grow where I planted them, providing us with food and flowers and more bees
I sowed the rocket last spring and it lasted valiantly over the winter, growing tough and woody, now flowering with abandon and attracting bees
The others, although chosen by me at one time, grow now where they choose. I don’t remember sowing the yellow poppy seeds but they return every year, filling the dry sunless scree along a north facing wall.
The first foxgloves came to my garden in a pot alongside a cutting from my mother’s garden twenty-five years ago. They multiplied all over the garden in my old house until I had my babies. I read somewhere that foxgloves were not suitable in a child’s garden because they are poisonous and I made a half-hearted and unsuccessful attempt at removing them. I failed of course and my children learned early on to love flowers but not to eat them. The seeds of these plants moved with us to our current house and now grow where they choose, sometimes in the cracks in the paving and this year among my prized but cultivated Gertrude Jekyll roses.
The campion and the wild roses come from family caravan holidays, treasured seeds and small cuttings brought home and lovingly added to our garden. They too, now grow where they please
There will be more bee flowers over the summer: lavender, nasturtiums, escallonia, peas, beans, marrows… It was worth counting the bees yesterday and thinking about the flowers they love, although it came to a lot more than six.