Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bee garden and glasshouse

A long overdue bee garden update.

Our plan for this garden was for it to be:

1. beautiful
2. bee attracting/provide more bee forage for a longer period
3. water efficient
4. be at it's peak (and survive) through our hot summers

The garden is being created in stages - you can see the design plans and how the area originally looked here - there's no greenhouse on the original plan as, though I've wanted one for a long time, my campaign wasn't successful until late last year.

Stage 1: Citrus and Herb garden next to the shed (completed late 2014)
Stage 2 Retaining wall (June 2015) and the beds for the main potager/bee forage garden. This garden has a framework of herbaceous perennials, herbs and kitchen edibles such as artichokes, lettuce, chives and rainbow chard and the planting out was done September/October 2015. You can see the front of this garden in the top photo (taken in January), the back of the garden is shown in the photo below (taken early February 2016). It really took off once planted.

The cats love the garden - here's Ollie checking out the Catmint.

Stage 3: Greenhouse, path and second bee forage/potager garden. The photo below was taken early February 2016 - the greenhouse was completed early November 2015 and then the garden beds laid out. When we make our garden beds, we load them up with manure and usually let this settle for about 3 months before planting - I didn't wait as long this time around and did some of the permanent planting of non-edibles around the greenhouse and birch tree, and later some temporary planting in the rest of the garden bed to make use of the growing season. Some of the plants took a bit longer to get going, but they really hit their stride by mid-summer.

An appreciative bee.

Still to do:
Stage 4: Frog pond and Fernery (possibly over Winter this year)
Stage 5: Blueberries and Hydrangeas along the fence (we had planted small blueberries this year, but they didn't get enough water and didn't make it through the summer, so this is back on the schedule when blueberries become available.
Stage 6: Paving under bee hives, lawn area and pondless water feature.

We're hoping to have it completed by the end of 2016. I can't wait until it's done as it's looking amazing and I love spending time in this garden.