Buckwheat for Bees
I am pretty happy with my buckwheat. After the extra hot spring weather brought early flowering on many trees and shrubs, I wanted to make sure the bees didn’t go hungry later in the summer. I sowed the buckwheat seed in an area of soil which had been dug and flattened for the septic tank runoff, but won’t be completed with the drainage until the plumbing is finished later in the year. We had a couple good rains, and 4 weeks later the first flowers were out and filled with bees every morning. A rainy and hot month later the plants are almost as tall as me and full of flowers.
Buckwheat only releases nectar in the morning, so the bees seem to be very business like and efficient in harvesting. They carry a good amount of pale yellow-green pollen as well.
As I mentioned in IAVOM I was startled to find a Weta floating spreadeagled on the freezing water in the empty vase I had just filled. I have no idea how he got there. I think I would have seen him if he was there in the vase when I added the water, and they don’t fly, and he wouldn’t have climbed up the vase to fall in, so…he must have fallen from the ceiling, or the beam above the sink. In any case I scooped him out as fast as I could and he seemed unharmed.
In a Vase on Monday – Spring Bulbs
It was a brilliant sunny morning after a freezing night, and there were still spots of frost in the shadows. I filled a vase with water in the porch and headed out with some scissors to pick flowers. When I came back there was a small weta floating spreadeagled in the vase. I scooped him out and put him down in the sun, worried about his dip in the freezing water, but he quickly started looking for shelter and shade, first trying the vase, and then the scissors as a hiding place.
This little jumping spider had her back to me. At the sound of the shutter she quickly turned to examine me with four of her eyes.
In a Vase on Monday – Roses with Hebes and Dichroa
I picked some Hebes to remind me to plant more of them. At this time where the days are short and flowers are disappearing they are welcome food for bees and other pollinators, which made a *beeline* for the Hebes and Chrysanthemums in the bouquet.
Hebes are a native NZ plant, so they are tough in our environment, growing well in windy sunny places. They do well on a bank, but don’t cope with wet soggy soils or too much shade. There are hundreds of different cultivars – from the little green balls of the tiny Tom Thumb to large shrubs with exuberantly waving branches and long white flowers such as I have picked.
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In a Vase on Monday – mostly Salvias
Salvias and Chrysanthemums are the most prolific flowers in the garden now, and are beloved by the pollinators.
Salvia confertiflora made it clear that she would not share the stage with anyone in pink, so I have 2 vases, one with the pink Salvia involucrata ‘Bethellii’, ‘Boutin’ and ‘Mulberry Jam’ as well as the lovely scented rose ‘Nahema’.
Fading flowers – memento mori
Following on from Susan Rushton’s post about faded roses, I thought I would look for beauty in last week’s flowers. It’s been warm this week so they are following the path toward decay. The Japanese Iris has taken on marvellous marine blue stripes and intense veining.