Attracting the Bees

Many people wait years for an allotment, so it always surprises and saddens me as to how many overgrown, vacant plots there are. Probably it could be that people have just not advised the powers that be that they no longer require the plot, or they have died and family have forgotten to deal with handing it back. The council runs our allotment site; we don’t have an allotment association. We are not disciplined as to what we can and can’t do or receive authoritarian letters because our paths need to be tidied up. Generally I like this; however, without the overseeing eye of an association, it does mean plots can become overgrown and forgotten, while someone desperate for an allotment plot is told there are none available.

I have half a plot, 52A, the other half behind me, 52B, was looked after by the young family of an elderly gentleman who has since died. This year no one has tended the plot and it has become a rather beautiful wildlife area. The Verbena Bonariensis is growing tall through the grass along with copious Leucanthemum. I am not complaining, and I am more than happy to have this haven for bees, butterflies and other wildlife. It will be sad when the day comes that the Council come along with their strimmers, albeit I will have a new allotment neighbour.

I took possession of my plot in December, so I had no idea what was going to appear. To my joy, wonderful magenta coloured poppies have self-seeded everywhere. The bees are loving them and were in abundance this morning.

The other flower that is coming up all over the place is Borage. While it is a great plant to have on an allotment, I am pulling lots of it up as it is prolific and needs to be kept under control. The bees were also all over the Borage today.

I love the idea of growing Nepeta with roses, and about a month ago, I bought a small Nepeta ’Walker’s Low’ which has, quite rapidly, spread and is another magnet for bees.

So, my little area of happiness is doing its bit for wildlife and it is great to see so many bees supping nectar from my flowers.


  1. I planted borage for the first time this year but was warned it was an agressive self-seeder. I have been cutting off the spent blossoms so I don’t have a mess next year.


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