In the bee garden from March to April

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The grape hyacinth flows like a river of blue along garden borders, hedgerows and woodland spaces. A small, hardy plant that doesn’t seem to mind the cold. It has patiently waited for the bees while the crocuses withered in late frosts.

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These plump, purple-blue flowers are receiving many bee visitors as spring awakes.

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Like our toadflax, grape hyacinth spreads quickly to fill beds and borders. If you don’t mind flowers that choose where they want to go (I don’t mind, it’s my idea of lazy gardening), then grape hyacinth looks pretty when planted under trees and left to wander across the lawn (a very charming planting scheme I’ve seen in neighbouring gardens).

If you prefer a tidier garden, you could try planting grape hyacinth in a spring container as an Easter present for the bees. But I can’t promise it will stay contained.

I came across a few garden escapees during a local walk. Grape hyacinth and cowslips bolting under the gate.

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The dandelions are also coming out and some are growing up in the trees.

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The soil is still too wet in our garden to do much – not that much needs to be done. Mulching our beds and containers with gravel, bark or leaves in October has helped to slow down the growth of weeds this spring, although the long, cold winter has probably helped too.

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After a second serving of snow in March we put the bee house back in the shed to keep warm. I also expected the frogspawn to freeze but it has survived. However, we did lose one of our goldfish, Zachary, after the thaw. John buried him at the bottom of the garden with our other two fish under the stones.

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When the weather frustrates your gardening, as in beekeeping, there is little else to do but make plans. I’ve been eyeing up the lungwort (pulmonaria) that’s sprung up uninvited in my parent’s garden (and which my step dad calls ‘weed’). It would look nice growing in the shade of our ivy.

The lungwort hasn’t made itself any more popular by planting itself right outside my parent’s front door. This busy flight path has resulted in a standoff between bee and human each time the door is opened. I would show you a close-up photo of these determined little insects, but I’m not able to bend down as easily with my camera these days.

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John and I are expecting our own new arrival in July. For now, the bees, birds, fish and frogs can take care of themselves, and I think they will do just fine.

NEXT POST: In the bee garden from May to June.

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14 thoughts on “In the bee garden from March to April

  1. First of all, congratulations! I love the grape hyacinth and they grow wild here. Never the less, I had a bit of difficulty getting them established until I got plants from a friend. Perhaps I was trying with the wrong types. Amelia

    • Hello Amelia and sorry for the late reply. I logged off blogging for quite a while. I’m no expert on grape hyacinth varieties but perhaps they simply like the soil in our area. I’m glad that they now grace your garden, they are one of my favourite spring plants. Emma

  2. Beautiful, here in Cornwall too we have the grape hyacinths, primroses and lots of dandelions. I have ordered some foxgloves, lambs ear, globe thistles and catmint from Rosy Bee plants for a bit of bee-friendly variety.

    I remember how when Tommy came there was April blossom everywhere and I was pushing him under the trees while blossom fell around us. There should be clover out when your little one comes and so many pretty garden flowers, you will be able to sit in the garden and look at them together while the birds sing. So happy for you and John.

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