Mid June bloom report – and a bee update

Once again it’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (hosted as always by gracious Carol of May Dreams Gardens) and since it’s June it would probably be easier to show what’s not in bloom – but I would never do that to you. Around here you don’t even need your eyes to know what’s in bloom. The prevailing scent on the wind is Rosa multiflora. None of us should be the least bit proud to have it on our property – I have to admit that it infests a hedge of mine – but that fragrance is truly divine and it’s difficult enough to get rid of that I think we’re stuck with it. But keep your eyes closed – there are other much less obnoxious highly scented treats in bloom today too – things like the sweet peas which have just begun in earnest and the mock orange. And now open up because there are all of the other things we grow simply because we’re visually attracted to the flowers.

Rosa multifloraSweet pea 'Zinfandel' and 'Painted Lady'Sweet pea 'Cupani'Philadelphus 'Manteau D' Hermine' Mock orange

The empty bee tree Our love of flowers, whether for the scent or the looks of them works out well for the pollinators who are viscerally attracted to many of our same favorites. I have been a little worried about the bees. Last year Colony Collapse Disorder was all over the news but the wild honeybee hive in the stumped Horsechestnut was still active. This year it’s empty. I don’t know what happened to them – maybe they’ve moved off. There are other living hives on the property and it’s always possible that they found a new home. But I can’t help suspecting that they came down with CCD, scattered and died. I have had trouble finding honeybees working our flowers – I finally spotted one on the goutweed near a hive by the Rock Garden. There were none in the Cutting Garden, none on the clover in the grass and it’s truly a beautiful, sunny, bee positive day out there. Gail thinks that we just don’t have enough annuals blooming yet for them and they’re elsewhere on the property. I want to be optimistic too so the only thing to do is to keep planting flowers. And then plant a few more flowers.

Verbascum 'Southern Charm'Osteospermum - Soprano Lilac Spoon Astrantia 'Hadspen's Blood'Cup and saucer campanulaAllium 'Hair'

We have seen a few other pollinators out and about. A hummingbird has found its way into the greenhouse a couple of times in the last week and poor Lilah disturbed a bumblebee ground nest. She took her sting well and we’ve taken care to protect the hive entrance. We need these guys – all of them, and I hope that the healthy colonies stay healthy and produce enough heirs and spares to inherit our flowery fortune.

bee on the goutweed (Aegopodium)

Have you noticed a decline in your pollinator populations too?