Flowers of the moment – Honeywort, Geranium macrorrhizum and poppies
09 July 2017
It’s been a long time since the last blog post, mainly because some of the team have been helping out at the Pocket Park by Leighton Buzzard station, and with the heatwave and drought of the last couple of months, we’ve been kept more busy than usual trying to all the keep newly-planted plants sufficiently watered. We’ve even broken our usual rule of not using a hose, because one good soaking followed by mulching with leaf mould lasts a lot longer than just watering odd plants occasionally. We really need rain!
The first of the flowers that are particularly attractive to bees is honeywort (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’), an unusual annual which flowers for a long time between April and June, and self-seeds but never becomes invasive. It has bluish-green leaves with purple bracts and hanging bell-shaped flowers, it produces lots of nectar, and the bees just love it.
We have some seed if anyone wants to start some off in their garden – just contact us via the usual email, or Comment below.
Another flower bees really like is Geranium macrorrhizum, which will eventually make quite a carpet of fresh-looking, slightly bluish leaves, with pink flowers for a few weeks between April and June, depending on the weather. The flowers are typical cranesbill geraniums, with the long, beak-shaped seedheads that give the plant family its common name. It’s a very useful plant that grows happily in full sun or quite deep shade.
We grow two other hardy geraniums here, both of which bees love – ‘Rozanne’, in the middle of the second bed down from the car park (blue flowers with a white centre; flowers most of the summer from mid-May, here; and should eventually make a plant about 80cm x 80 cm), and ‘Kashmir White’ in two or three of the other beds, which has graceful stems with bright green foliage, and white flowers with thin red stripes in them. It spreads well, but isn’t invasive.
And of course, it wouldn’t be this garden without the poppies:
with the inevitable visiting bumble bee in at least two of the flowers here.