Monday, June 15, 2009

Don't worry, Bees happy!

Here's part of the garden so far. This is the cooler side, that gets a little less sun than the other, so we planted onions, beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi & potatoes here. For some reason, the carrots got off to a slow start, but they are kicking into gear now. There is also a very fragrant rugosa rose in the background, and a clump of rhubarb, both of which need to be moved someday.
We're growing less beans this year (and canning all of them) so decided to try the old-fashioned teepee method. We used bamboo, which is relatively smooth, so the bean tendrils take a little longer to start climbing.
Reddale potatoes in flower. When all 3 kinds are blooming, it looks more like a flower bed than a potato patch. It's just about time to start sneaking new potatoes, but hopefully we'll manage to save a few to get bigger.
Some of the mixed greens we harvested this weekend. I think we ended up with 5 or so pounds of red & green oak leaf lettuce, romaine, and baby-leaf spinach.
See if you can spot the honeybee working over this mound of thyme flowers.
Here's another bee checking out valerian flowers. Valerian is NW native plant that usually grows in mountain meadows. One variety is domestically grown for its roots, which are used in a calming tea. The flowers have a lovely fragrance too, and the plant self-seeds into a bit of a privacy screen. Our front border bed is about 2ft wide and over 70ft long. We're constantly adding plants that we think the bees will like. Luckily they like herbs, so the thyme, valerian, sage, lemon balm, mint, oregano, etc. are very popular.
The blackberries are just starting to flower, and the bees are taking full advantage. This is their main nectar supply, and they're no longer using the sugar syrup we've been supplementing them with. Our blackberry patch is about 40 x 50ft, and buzzing with all kinds of pollinators on a sunny day.
See if you can spot the bumble bee visiting a sage flower. We planted the sage for cooking use, but they are very striking when they bloom. And also very popular with the bee crowd....
If you have lots of clover in your lawn, you have a great excuse not to mow too often. Mowing the clovery parts of our yard takes longer because we try to go slow enough that the bees have time to move away from the mower's path.
On our hive check this weekend, we were lucky enough to see some baby bees hatch. With all the activity in this picture, it's hard to spot the newborns, so I circled a few. there are more hatching, but kind of obscured by the nursery attendants. It was also time to put the honey super on, so as it fills, the bees are making honey for us to harvest. A very exciting milestone!
And here's Stew, showing off his incredible talent!


Maritzia said...

Between moving and being sick, I didn't get a blessed thing planted this year *sighs*. I'm jealous of your garden.

Next year, look out. I'll be rivaling you!

Jannette said...

I could not get our beans to wind around the bamboo - it worked better after the bamboo got older and split, hence giving better traction. But it also turned out to be an earwig sqatter heaven...chickens loved it :)