It seems the hot dry weather we’ve been having has brought about a flowering frenzy on my plot. They’re having their moment in the spot/sunlight.
I grow flowers for many reasons. For example, the nasturtiums above are not only edible, but they act like sacrificial lambs, meaning the blackfly, caterpillars and slugs are more likely to attack these and leave my other crops alone. They also attract the bees and other pollinating insects, and they spread, creating a little carpet where the weeds can’t muscle their way in. And as much as anything, they add a lovely bright splash of colour. I may be a slightly biased designer, but I like a plot to have an aesthetic form as well as a purposeful function.
I grow foxgloves and lavender in the herb bed, mainly to attract the bees.
The herbs themselves also do a pretty good job at attracting pollinators. Variegated thyme below.
Below is feverfew, growing in the herb bed, which I didn’t intentionally plant. It somehow made it’s way here from my garden where it flowers. Some seeds must have got transported somehow. But it’s also a good flower for the bees. It may become a weed in time, but its golden leaves are easy to spot and pull out.
Calendula (or pot marigold) is another edible flower that self seeds around my plot, attracts the bees and brightens the place up a bit.
I also have a small cutting patch with some dahlias, cosmos and sweet williams (which are now finished) and a nearby wigwam of sweetpeas. I’m not sure if the green beetle below is friend or foe, anyone know?
Then of course there are the vegetables themselves putting on their own flower show. Some of which are just as beautiful.
And then there are the crops that are pushing out flowers when I really don’t want them to! Otherwise known as bolting, producing flowers before they’ve produced you any viable veg. They’ve skipped a course and are eating their desserts before they’ve had their main! Cheeky devils. It’s usually down to a lack of water. As far as they’re concerned, the end is nigh and they have to reproduce, fast.
Oh where would we be without the flowers and the bees?