Friday, August 1, 2014

bees and blooms

We all got our hands sticky at the Roots to Harvest Urban Beekeeping course on Tuesday evening. I'm not sure Adam will forgive me for sharing this photo of him all around, but I think it looks cool - we were all mesmerized by the bees, studying their combs, social order, and coordination. I absolutely love this - everyone should take this course.
I've decided next summer will be bee summer. At first, as I learned more about everything involved, I thought new bees and a new baby might be too much..., but, if I delay for reasons like that we'll never get bees. By the time the bees come baby and I will have had time to get to know one another, and establish some sort of routine. We'll start small, with two brood boxes and a stack of one or two honey stackers - I'll sort that out with Barry (Bears'Bees&Honey)
the bee hives at
Roots to Harvest
Cornwall & Algoma Garden
busy bees
Now known as the "bee garden" the adopted garden at the back of the yard now makes sense to me. It's already wild and mature, with enough small empty spaces for me to add some simple wildflowers for the bees. It's half covered by the Norway Maples nearby, and will have even more tree coverage when we plant a couple apple trees along the back fence on Finn's birthday this year. The garden will still get all day afternoon sun along the south side, which is what the bees need.
There are some purple/dark blue delphiniums near the centre of the bed that are blooming like idiots right now. Next year they'll be staked. Also in the bee garden: Stella De Oro who is taking up enormous space, desperately needs dividing, but we'll see if I ever get around to that.., some irises, a whole bunch of hostas, some Lady's Mantle, two things I'm blanking on, and a couple of lilies here and there. In spring there were some orange tulips, which I will add to with some other early bloomers.
I imagine the space looking like a wildflower garden - tall, kind of crazy, colourful, and every changing. The bees will love it. 

In other garden update news:

The backyard garden, which consists of the two beds nearest the house and shack. The peanut shaped bed already had a nicely shaped Catone aster, and the lime leafed spirea (which has been covered in bumble bees every day as it flowers). I've added bee balm and rhubarb, mother of thyme and ajuga around the rock and lamp post, two daylilies: 'Pizza Crust' and 'Anzac', a hosta under the Catone aster (can't remember the name right now), a dwarf Goat's Beard, and a Lady's Mantle. There's still a lot more space in that bed - and a dog problem.
The bed nearest the house remains empty - we haven't even topped it with triple mix yet. It is going to take me years to fill these beds. They're huge. For now, we left the caragana near the door, and the upright juniper near the dining room window. There's a peony to be planted near that, and 'Golden Celebration (David Austin rose) to go near the side door. I sort of wish we could turn this into a decorative vegetable, herb, and perennial bed (leave lots of empty spaces for annual food)..., but it's visited by too many dogs - who aren't even thwarted by ugly bright orange flagging tape. We'll have to wait and see how this one grows.

Under the Hawthorns, the lilies have bloomed. I'm not entirely crazy about them, which is why I like them. I never would have chosen these, it's a colour that is missing in my gardens, and I think they will compliment anything I add. They're bold and bright in the shaded Hawthorn garden.