the gallop of Spring

There’s a month gone by in the shaking of lamb’s tails. Daffs are going over, primroses coming out. Things have been mostly of an outdoors nature here at Spider Acres for the last few weeks, getting the allotment ready for planting and of course, doing that planting. Every year I forget what labour it is to get the potatoes in, but they are now, mostly, as are the onions, shallots, peas and broad beans, beetroot, parsnips and carrots.

When not allotmenteering I have been gardening, making the most of the glorious weather we have had for a couple of weeks. It has been a pleasure to share both places with the newly emerged bees-bumbles and solitaries, all busy looking for nesting sites and pollinating the abundance of blossom as they refuel for that main purpose. One of the rarer cuckoo bees has turned up in the garden. This is Melecta albifons-no common name but handsomely spotted. It is feeding on Lungwort, Pulmonaria saccharata, as does the lovely Hairy Footed Flower bee that it parasitises. They have been here too.

The allotment site, with its large areas of flowering dead nettle, is proving to be a rich hunting ground for bees  like the beautiful Andrena flavipes below, and a little colony of something tiny , not as yet identified , is nesting under my white currant. I wonder if this constitutes keeping livestock, which is strictly prohibited on our allotments?

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7 thoughts on “the gallop of Spring

  1. If that constitutes keeping livestock then wouldn’t carrot root fly and cabbage white also count?! Then we’re all in trouble… Impressed at your bee knowledge. Love the plumonaria flowers – I’ve only just discovered that they don’t all have spotted leaves, which I hate, so I think it is yet another plant for the ever lengthening wishlist.

    1. Hi Janet-The pulmonaria flowers are just great, aren’t they? I grow them for the bees as they are a huge favourite of the little ones at this time of year. As well as being pretty.
      Good point about the carrot root fly and cabbage whites!

  2. I have planted some French beans, but we are away mid April until the beginning of May, so I will have to rely on plants this year. Haven’t seen a primrose, so delighted to see your photo.

  3. Lovely narrative from Spider Acres, Judith. Your bees are enchanting and appreciated the identification so I now know what to look out for. Some years ago made the decision to buy plants by following the bees around the nurseries and seeing what they chose. Pulmonaria was a top favourite of course.
    Laura

    1. I made the very same decision Laura and now ONLY buy plants I see bees visiting. I no longer garden just for looks-plants have to merit their place by being feeding stations too! And Pulmonaria is a real bee plant for many species.

  4. thanks for the new perspective on pulmonaria .. i love them, and just planted some in our garden last fall .. two are blooming beautifully .. will peer more closely to see the livestock .. great ..

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