There hasn't been much sunshine this month but when it has been sunny and the wind has stopped blowing, the bumblebees have been out. This is a queen buff-tailed bumble bee although queens have ginger tails rather than buff coloured. Just to confuse me!


She was on the bergenia flowers and spent some time there with her head stuffed in the flowers. Apparently, bees can tell if another bee has visited the flowers because they can smell the feet of the other visiting bees. Who knew? Bees have smelly feet.

This month has really seen us finishing off all the bigger works on the plot because March is the start of serious veg growing and so I have less time to devote to the wildlife plot.

One thing that I have finished is the new path through the Thugs bed on the plot. I asked for some old paving slabs and collected enough to make a path worth walking on. Noel quite rightly asked me to bury the slabs properly so that they weren't a trip hazard and that is what I have done. I have some seeds of thyme and chamomile so when they have grown into little plants, I will put them between the slabs.

I have also planted several new trees - apples and crab apples (live ones this time) in the Thugs Bed. They were donations from Dave and should provide a good backdrop to the plot and not shade my veg plot too much.  We don't know what sort they are so we will have to wait until they fruit to try and identify them then.

I also finished the rubble wall that winds through the same be. You can see a bit of it to the right of the path in the picture. Critters have already taken up residence in it and when it was sunny the flies were basking on it. There is a variety of things in it including a donated bee brick and a water station for birds.

The other job I finished is The Brownfield Site Bed. This is on your right as you walk onto the plot and can be found by the  bright orange pile of sand on it. I have already been asked if that is to lay the slabs on, but No. There are four different habitats on the bed - a standing up pile of logs with stones beside it for creatures to hide in and bask on. There is a pile of woodchips because I noticed that some bees or hoverflies are very interested in the woodchips on the path and a pile of brick rubble which has logs, dried grasses, entrances for solitary bees and corrugated underneath. This would suit a wide variety of insects and invertebrates.  

I made this bed because there is a lot of evidence to show that some of our best places for wildlife are sites that have been built on and then abandoned. The insects have taken over all the old building materials as have the plants and is based on John Little's garden. This is an experiment and I look forward to seeing what will happen.  I will plant it up with wildflowers in yellow and white. It is south facing and so will be warm and sunny. I'd really love some lizards to move in.