Red Legs, Yellow legs, White legs and Blue: and Empty Garden status.

Bees, bees, very busy bees. All over the phacelia, the borage, the poppies, the bird’s foot trefoil and the catmint. The bumblebee workers are collecting pollen of many different colours. Back in 2010 I did a short blog post about pollen its wonderful shapes and colours see

Pollen : Beautiful Colours Fascinating Form


Hodges pollen loads_thumb[2]

Here are a few bees carrying different coloured pollens

yellow legs_resize       pas 1_resize      orange legs_resize

hortorum pl_resize      blue legs_resize      black legs_resize

The phacelia pollen is blue, and poppy pollen is black.

I took the poppy photo early this morning. Each day as the new poppies unfold there is an unseemly scrum amongst the bees to be the first to get to the pollen. It is very amusing to watch. They scrabble about, running round and round the stamens to transfer the pollen onto their hairy bodies. Then they may pause to brush the pollen into the pollen baskets on their hind legs.

Equally fascinating is watching the efforts that small bees make, to get in… and out of ..snapdragons. The flowers have a very firm snap. Sometimes they are almost entirely engulfed.

snap dragon_resize

And my much loved woolcarder bees (anthidium manicatum) have returned exactly on cue when their favourite Stachys plant is ready for them


Here is Handsome on his favourite plant.

So where is all this excitement happening?

This was the garden at 7.00 am this morning.

garden 7.00 am

We have been here 18 months and with a bit of hard work have turned something barren into something bee and wildlife friendly. It’s very easy if you just plant some bee friendly flowers, which are not expensive, and you don’t mind a bit of a muddle!


It looked like this when we moved here. A few more before and afters.

Front: Before and after

_DSC0005_4_resize      front_resize

Back: Before and After

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Back: Before and After:  The window behind the tree is where I work

a5      garden 10 am

Shed: which is hard to see, before and after

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and the bit in the middle…..

I have put these together to encourage myself on those days when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, to encourage others with a small garden ( the camera makes this look much bigger than it is!) to plant a few wildlife friendly things.

It’s cheap easy and endlessly rewarding.
Once done, sit back and enjoy the delights that wild things bring to our lives.

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  1. I can see why you called it the "ugly bungalow". What a beautiful difference. So welcoming to insects and people.

  2. It's gone from sad to an enticing garden, for people as well as the bees.

  3. Diana ! Thank you as always. It has amazed me what has been possible in terms of attracting wildlife on a very small budget and to be honest not that much time and planning. Just a bit of research and hard work and letting nature take a hand. There is still so much more to do.
    But at last the sun has arrived here and that will give everything a boost. Hope all well with you.

  4. Hi there Ct Yes indeed it is still the Ugly bungalow but we have got used to it, even have a grudging affection! The garden is definitely helping. We are just getting some Florida sun right now. Lovely! And many thanks for the comment on the jewel wasp. You are right .. very pretty but some bad habits!

  5. The garden looked so boring before! You have brought life to it.

  6. YOu have it exactly right Emily! It was so boring. I may have gone a little over the top with the planting but untill 90% of the grass has gone I will not rest!

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