Monday, August 6, 2012

16 Oaks Revisted

 It is with great delight that I recently visited Anakana's community garden plot. I was so happy to see such a bee-friendly community garden. One of the things I like to do at this time of the year as I putter around the garden watering and cutting flowers is to think about my garden resolutions for next year.

 Next year I will plant more alliums. This year I have realized what great bee plants the alliums are since the different varieties bloom at different times of the year. Here the chives are enjoying their second bloom of the season. My mom sent me a very jolly photo of the bumble bees on the chives in her garden in Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan. It's a bit like one of those "Where's Waldo?" pictures, only you are trying to see how many bumble bees you can find. It makes me smile.

 Isn't this dragonfly lovely? I thought it was an ornament until the eyes began to move independently of one another in an uncanny fashion. There must be a water source near this garden, which brings me to my next resolution: make a fountain for insects. Entomologist Eric Grissell made a cool miniature solar-powered fountain for insects in his garden. I think that's a great idea and I want to make one too!

Well the next resolution is simple: I need more bee plants blooming at this time of the year. My cornflowers, borage, coreopsis, sunflowers and radish flowers are still not enough to feed the bees in high summer.

Which brings us to this general resolution: You can always find more room for flowers!!!

This fennel plant was full of bumble bees, honey bees, ladybugs and their larvae and a cloud of tiny native bees. I have a nice big fennel plant, but next year I'd like to plant dill. Why? I love it in borscht and on top of shrimp and cream cheese open-faced sandwiches.

I like how individual plots reflect the tastes and personality of the garden. Here we have lavender and artichokes. Resolution: put more personality in the garden.

We like the plot that is stuffed to the gills with flowers. We call the gardener "The Flower Man". I'm intrigued that he has found some white liatris. I'd like to plant more white flowers in my garden next year. 

Here's more proof this is a bee-friendly garden: Mason bee homes. I like the improvised touches and the spirit of using recycled materials without being precious about it.

 Oregano!!!! Next year I will plant more herbs and not buy too many new seeds, but use the packages I have already saved up.

What is it? I don't know, but it's curious and I like it. It seems to be transmitting top secret information to the lettuce plants.

 I also like the way the gardeners have planted flowers around the perimeter of the garden. More food for pollinators. More delight for human visitors.

 Here you can see the perennial sweet pea on the border of the garden living happily next to annual sweet peas in an adjacent garden bed.

Finally, next year I've got to get my son out into the garden more. Once he's there, he does enjoy himself, but how do you coax him out of his cave? That is the million dollar question. What are your garden resolutions for next year?

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