Thursday, 9 February 2012

Doing our bit for pollination to save our food

Anybody watching Bees, Butterflies and Blooms with Sarah Raven on BBC2 Wednesday evenings?

As an organic gardener, I do my best to not risk killing anything I shouldn't but have seen a dramatic drop in butterflies. Other than the pesky cabbage whites, we saw very few last year in our garden and hardly any when out for walks. Even our defunct school gardens buddleia bushes were almost empty. Our myriad of bees and hover-flies show they at least are still surviving and we have planted as many wildlife friendly flowers as possible (plus the vegetable flowers). We were given a butterfly hotel last year but haven't got a single tenant.

I think she is right that the royal 'we', seem to think it will get sorted out by someone else. I could have crowned those people who were reluctant to say the least, to even turn over a little of their village common and graveyard over to wildlife flowers. They agreed in the end but some weren't at all happy about it. The farmer on the other hand, is to be applauded. He at least appears to be doing his best.

I think the wake up call had to be when she did a 'breakfast' shop of food (except bacon and eggs) the nation usually eats for breakfast. When all the items were taken away that are pollinated by bees, she was left only with wind pollinated food such as bread and breakfast cereals!

Why can't the motorway verges (the ones up slopes) be sown with wild flowers? Imagine how many insects we could save let alone how beautiful it would look. Maybe when out on walks, if we have any flower seeds to spare or those that are past or near their end dates, we could scatter them along verges (near the hedges if possible to escape the grass cutters).

I've decided I will give it a go. Although my garden is as wildlife friendly as it can be, I can still do more. I hope to change over any double flowers I have, to single blooms. Pollinating insects have a heck of a time trying to fight their way into double blooms. My neighbour plants tree seeds each year and when they are about a foot high, he goes for surreptitious walks to plant them!

Anyone with me on this?

7 comments:

  1. Oh I am so with you! Have you heard of seed bombs? Mix some wild flower seeds with some mud and shape into a ball (or grenade if you're that way inclined) let them dry off then have fun throwing them to otherwise hard to access areas or away from mowers. When they land they either split or crumble when it rains and the seeds have their own bit of soil to start them off.

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    1. No, I hadn't but sounds a good idea.

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  2. I think it's a great idea to scatter some seeds along verges and shall be doing that myself this spring.

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    1. I think normal garden flowers will be okay in the Spring but I think Sarah reckons proper wild flower seeds need to be scattered in the Autumn as they need frost. Shall hopefully be doing it at both times.

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  3. Sounds like a good idea, and it will be looking beautiful :) If you go through with it, I would love to see some photos later on :)

    Thanks so much for the advice on sprouting seeds. It was of great help, and I really appreciate it :)

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  5. Such a good idea. I've often thought about throwing seeds onto the verges and will definitely make a point of doing it now.

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