Thursday, June 6, 2019
You may remember that last spring, I cleared a patch of land at the corner of our garden and planted some wildflower seeds. There were cornflowers and poppies and scabious and some others, as I recall.
Well, none of them ever sprouted -- at least not that I could tell. Our little wildflower garden remained fallow, dusty and unforgiving. Eventually we planted a few cow parsley plants and a milk parsley, as well as some comfrey. They took hold, and toward late summer some other little plants appeared in the surrounding soil -- I couldn't tell if they belatedly came from the seeds I'd sown or were simply weeds. (I suppose weeds are wildflowers, so maybe it doesn't matter.)
This year, as you can see, the wildflower patch is insane. Most of it is borage, which was growing there already. It has seeded and spread all on its own. We also have a feathery wild carrot plant, at least three musk mallows, a few English plantains, and some other random stuff. Our milk parsley is holding its own, but the cow parsleys vanished (apparently they're annuals). We have bright pink valerian and, at the back, a large-leafed inula that keeps getting gnawed by slugs. I planted some burdock seedlings in this bed but they were promptly eaten and subsequently engulfed by the surrounding foliage.
It's not quite what I envisioned when I thought of a wildflower bed -- I imagined something much more meadow-like, with multicolored blossoms on tall, slender stems. Instead, we've got a jungle. But it serves the purpose -- it's a constant hive of insect activity. The bees, especially, love it.
They're on the blue borage all the time...
...and they crawl headfirst into the purple bell-like flowers of the comfrey.
(I can't help wondering where all these bees live. I've never seen a hive in this area, but obviously there must be one!)
There's far more bee activity in this corner of the garden than anywhere else, which proves that when it comes to insects, they like wild, native plants the most. As much as I love our roses, I've never seen much on them in terms of wildlife. Just aphids and ladybugs!