An Bhean Feasa – Beds, Bees and Ox-Eye Daisies!

I am so, so grateful for the wonderful weather we are having as I write this post.  The garden is truly blossoming and I have been working outside every day, planting and re-potting and weeding,  (although that last job will never be done!!!!)  and making a new bed to accommodate all the seedlings that have germinated.

This is a potato and onion bed that I made at the beginning of April using the “Lasagne” method.  It is simply made from layers of organic material. I strimmed first, put down cardboard to smother any perennial weeds and then built up layers of manure, cardboard, grass cuttings, cardboard, top soil, seaweed and then home-made compost on top.
Here is the same bed today,

Just behind it, I finished another bed yesterday.  I started with the cardboard,
Then I added some farm yard manure, courtesy of my kind brother, then added another layer of cardboard.
Grass cuttings followed by cardboard and bark mulch.
Following with more cardboard, courtesy of John Stanley of Clifden, I finished with home-made compost.  I didn’t have quite enough this time so I had to add some shop bought compost.
For some reason, I have gone crazy sowing brassicas and beetroot which I have planted out into this new bed.  There are more to be planted out yet as well as spinach and coriander.  The strips you see around the bed are copper, cut from an old hot water tank.  Hopefully they will keep the slugs and snails from accessing the tender young vegetables.
So, you can see that I have been quite busy.  Walking around the garden I am delighted to report that thanks to the fact that we use NO pesticides, NO herbicides and NO chemical fertilisers, I can see lots of insects.  There are lace-wings, hoverflies, dragonflies and many types of bees, bumble bees and the native Connemara bee.

A Bumble on a Comfrey flower.

One of many on the Raspberry bushes,

I used to think that planting flowers was a bit “surburban” and that I was a “serious” vegetable grower until a very good friend, Colette, pointed out to me that we must plant flowers to ensure that the bees and other pollinators are fed and have habitat.  I am so glad because secretly I always wanted to plant flowers, I just thought flowers were an indulgence.  Now I understand what an important role they play.  Whether they be planted by me,…………


Valerian – Valeriana Officinalis

Rose, Rosa Rugosa.

Jacob’s Ladder – with a bee or two feeding on it.
Or perhaps they were strewn as gifts from Mother Nature,

Here you can see that She has provided us with Herb Robert, Speedwell, and Buttercup.

A meadow full of Buttercup, Red Clover, Ragged Robin, Orchids and Self-Heal,

Alkanet, Pentaglottis sempervirens
And of course, the Ox Eye Daisies

Flowers bring beauty to a garden and to our senses of sight and smell and beauty means love.  If we can appreciate the beauty of our wild flowers, (“weeds” to some), we can love them and recognise them for all they offer.  It is so good to know that so many of them have medicinal qualities or provide food for us AND for the bees.  Thank the Goddess for flowers.
What is your favourite wild or garden flower and why?  Let me know by leaving a comment in the box below.