Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Food for the Pollinators

For all gardeners not just food forest gardeners it is really important to insure that our pollinator friends have a succession of nectar to feed on. High summer can be a difficult time for these creatures best known of course are the honey and bumble bees and butterflies, but there are many other species from the insect world that also do a good job for us, no more so than the much maligned wasp.
 
This time of year wasps get a bad reputation for spoiling picnics and any outdoor activities that involve anything sweet, however I have observed an interesting behaviour that quite surprised me. Last week I was picking blackcurrants and was soon inundated with wasps getting at the fruit. I simply put the cover back over them and left the picking till later. I went back 2 days later and to my surprise not a wasp in site. On my way back from my picking session I happened to go past a patch of Berberis wilsonea which has just come into flower. They bear tiny insignificant flowers but the whole bush was alive with all the usual suspects but most interestingly literally hundreds of wasps.
 
So lesson learnt, plant a few more of these near to plums and other fruits ripening at this time of year and pick in peace. Isn't it great when you see how nature can work with us?
Just where I would prefer them to be. This Autumn I will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour
The next fantastic plant for our pollinators this time of the year is the buddleia, however it does not attract the wasps but all bees and many butterflies just love this plant as do we as the scent is just glorius.
Our first visit ever from a Comma
While we are on the subject of flowers I recently planted my first Day Lilly bulbs and they have just started to produce flowers. These flowers are a nice edible addition to the salad bowl but look almost too good to eat.
pretty aren't they.
Till next time.