Worrying about family, worrying about empty shopping shelves, worrying for those who are in ill health and can’t help themselves. With everything going on in the world right now, it was a relief to retreat into the garden this weekend. As the sun shone brightly in the sky, I took it as a sign that we’re all going to be OK.
With the kitchen garden now established, this year I’m focusing on colour, blooms and wildlife. Not wanting to use any chemicals in our garden, I’ve been trying to bring in bees, butterflies and other creatures to pollinate our fruit and veggies and to get rid of unwanted pests. I have a real sense of wellbeing when I hear the gentle buzz of a bee going about his daily business. It puts life into perspective, which is just the tonic for me in the current climate.
I created an area in the kitchen garden that we named ‘Bugmetroplis’, which provides rent-free accommodation for the insects with penthouse views of the veggie beds. And this weekend I’ve also added haute cuisine dining to the establishment! In three separate areas of the garden, I’ve sown wild flowers that will not only feed my pollinators, but will also act as a refuge for the wildlife. So if Bugmetroplis has no free rooms, they can still take comfort in the wildflower surroundings.
I used three different seed mixes from Thompson and Morgan. One specifically for pollinators, which I sowed in Bugmetropolis. One of the other mixes was for for shaded areas, which I sowed around our fruit trees. The final mix was an annuals mix, which I wanted for a patch near to the house. For nearly a year, this area was my dumping ground as we were undergoing the house renovations. From old ovens to rubble, it all sat here. Finally able to clear the area, I was left with a blank canvas. Unfortunately, I can’t create anything permanent in this space as we’ll need to dig up the ground to lay a waste pipe at some point. However, an annual wild flower mix is perfect as a short-term solution.
Ensuring all three areas were cleared of weeds and stones, I created a fine tilth. Then, I sparingly scattered the seed, and gently raked over. I then gave all areas a water with a fine hose head, to avoid disturbing the seed.
With my part done, I’m hoping Mother Nature will do hers by germinating these wildlife spaces. All being well, the Agents of Field bug business will soon be big news on the pollinating scene. Bees and butterflies will be travelling from miles around just to get a taste of the highlife.
On a final note, this a time where we need to be there for one another. So take time to phone or video chat with family, friends and neighbours. Help those who might be struggling, through a good deed or a kind word, but please look after yourselves.