THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr27

Beekeepers – Quick Notes On Plants For Bees

Fine news for beekeepers today – a total ban on bee-harming pesticides has been announced!

To celebrate, here is a list of plants we recommend as being brilliant for the bees:

  1. Helenium
  2. Sedum
  3. Echium vulgare
  4. Marjoram or Oregano
  5. Eupatorium (common name? Joe Pye-Weed. But don’t let that put you off!)
  6. Borage
  7. Nepeta
  8. Veronicastrum
  9. Teucrium

Bonus plants for shady spots? Try hellebore, lamium and pulmonaria.

Looking for a shrub to plant near your apiary? Phillyrea ought to do it. Although it is difficult to get hold of…. we are working on making it more available though, so check back with Modern Mint sometime….

Somebody asked me about tulips – are these good for bees?

tulips for bees

They certainly work hard to get the pollen. I guess the common sense approach is to make sure the tulips are as open and easy to access as possible.

The BBKA offer this top ten list of plants for bees.

My favourite nursery for bee friendly plants is Rosybee Nursery. You should all check out her plants and her brilliant research!

Her recommendations for bee friendly plants for summer baskets are:

  1. Trailing lobelia
  2. Lavender
  3. Echium
  4. Salvia
  5. Campanula
  6. Scabious

I would probably add Cleome and Fuchsia. But any other suggestions, please send them through!

Finally, are Dahlias good for bees? Again, I imagine single flowers are the best. But would love people to let me know what they see this summer….

Thank you and lets hope for a long, warm season for the bees!

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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