Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Matron's Allotment Flower Show

 Regular readers will remember that 'Matron does not do flowers'.. well, our little pollinating insects do need a bit of a hand nowadays, so you may find that I have planted just a few plants to help them along the way.  This Limanthes is also known as the Poached Egg Plant.  The bees just love it.
 If I can encourage pollinating insects to my allotment then they will help to pollinate my vegetables as well.
 In fact, I have noticed that the simple nature of vegetable flowers is very attractive to bees and on many occasions they prefer vegetable flowers to flower flowers!  Look at these beautiful Broad Bean flowers.
 Horseradish flowers are also a particular favourite, a member of the brassica family.  These simple, open flowers are a magnet for bees, they love them.
 How about chive flowers?  In fact, any onion or leek flower is adored by bees.  I always make sure I leave one or two vegetable plants to go to seed at the end of the season.  You might have to wait for a second year in some cases - take parsnips for instance - they are biennial, they grow a root in the first year and then the most amazing umbrella shaped raft of yellow flowers in the second year.  I once had a flowering parsnip that was more than 7 feet tall and covered in honey bees!
A particularly good flower for bees is the Borage herb.  This flowers right the way from April to the first frosts of Autumn and the bees love it!  If you appreciate the subtle things in life, then how about a nice bouquet of vegetable flowers?


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Nice flowers Matron. I've purposely left a parsnip in the garden from last year just to see it flower.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Robert Brenchley said...

The first year I had bees, I noticed them bringing masses of deep orangey-yellow pollen in. There was quite a few empty plots back then, and I was able to follow them to the other end of the site, where they were all over a couple of rows of parsnips which had been left to go to seed.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Gorgeous photos!

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

I love poached egg plant and find that it self seeds like crazy. Borage has superb flowers and great for all those insects.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Nice! I so miss my borage and chives. I've never seen the poached eggs, but they are delightful! We made a dent on our garden turned pasture. HOpe to get back in the swing of things.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Yay! Matron DOES do flowers :) I knew it was in you. You have some lovely ones and we let most veggies go to flower too, but then I do like my girlie 'on purpsoe' flowers as well ;)


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