Winter bright….

A chance comment (as I was buying a jar of delicious raw honey at the local market on Saturday morning) had me scratching my head (well, mentally at least), as I continued to wander, crossing items off my list. ‘I have to feed my bees honey at this time of year as there aren’t any flowers’, the honey man had said. ‘Oh….’ said I, thinking on the state of our winter garden, much in need of its annual cut back and displaying many a bare branch…..

But despite the naked, messy ‘winteriness’ of our garden (inevitable at this time of year), we are awash with flowers.  Flowers of the humble kind, the companions…the ones that bring in the bees. And we need bees now, as the peas and broad beans are in flower, waiting their turn for pollination; their flowers also acting like a beacon to the native bee population. 

The pursuit of a harmonious eco-system is a vital component of Kitchen Gardening….from the soil up. It’s something I strive for continuously and these companion flowers are a vital element of that system, as well as bringing pure delight and joy to the eye, soul and table on a chill winter’s day.  

We have yet to embark upon our own honey bee adventure, but it’s on my to-do list for this year.  So I’m sure I have a great deal to learn.  But if your garden is currently lacking in flowers and buzzing bees, do yourself a favour….allow your rocket to flower and scatter some seed of borage, poppy and calendula.  There are myriad other flowers that will do their thing at this time of year, these ones just happen to be those I favour and that work well for me here, so I encourage their self seeding habits from year to year and revel in their simple beauty and bee attracting ability.

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