At the start of lockdown some months ago, finding myself with a lot more free time on my hands (how I long for that now!) I finally got around to planting my ‘beebombs’.
Beebombs are wildflower seedballs designed to be scattered on open ground or in gardens to replicate a wildflower meadow. With such habitats in startling decline throughout the UK, mainly due to changes in land management and farming practices our native pollinators need all the help they can get!
Beebombs contain a mix of 18 species of wildflower in protective clay pellets and require ‘no gardening skill’ to sow. A patch of relatively clear soil so they don’t get out competed by other flowers and lots of sunshine is all you need to get them growing.
Fortunately we had just such conditions early on in the lockdown and in just a couple of weeks I was delighted to see my first green shoots begin to push their way up through the earth.
With fabulous weather and almost endless sunny skies continuing throughout April and May, the bare soil was rapidly colonised by a messy tangle of green vegetation.
Whilst the ‘garden’ was far from pretty at this stage, it was already a great habitat for numerous tiny creatures hidden within including a swarm of ladybirds! (more about those later)
Another quite unexpected visitor was this stunning iridescent green flower beetle.
Male thick-legged flower beetle
A damselfly also made a brief appearance, flitting over the garden to investigate and then coming to rest on the nearby wall. A great opportunity to capture a quick close up and reveal the intricate colours and details scarcely visible to the naked eye.
A female small red damselfly
The real excitement came with the blooming of the first flowers, which added a burst of brilliant colour and attracted in many more insects with their sweet scents and the lure of nectar.
Corn marigolds & (I think) african daisies?
Whilst sadly no bees have been seen on the bee garden yet this year, the hoverflies more than made up for their absence.
Unfortunately living on the Welsh coast is not without it’s perils, and several days of battering winds mean the garden is pretty much obliterated, the delicate petals sent scattering into the wind! Fortunately wildflowers are nothing if not resilient and they should recover to flower again next summer.
If you are looking for an easy, low maintenance garden project why not grow your own beebombs? You won’t be disappointed…
— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2020 www.greyfeatherphotography.com
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