Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bee Garden Beginnings..

Ok let’s see Saturday morning was spent (for the most part) watching Randy level out a spot for the new Top Bar Hive.  It took him longer than I’d expected but, he is after all right..(shh don’t tell him I said that!) The hive isn’t going to be moved around and it’s better for it to be in a spot that’s properly prepared. After he leveled out the area, he made a nice frame out of some landscape timbers and then he put down some large pavers that have been wasting away in the back for a base.  It turned out pretty good and he even made a level spot on the other side where the observation window is so I can easily take a peek!  I painted several frames with beeswax and added some pure lemongrass oil inside.  I’m hoping a swarm will adopt this as a new home, if not this year than next.  If not I’ll be looking for a rescue locally!
The old pond was in this area (we had envisioned a wonderful in ground pool with beach entry and large rocks but the price was crazy) and it’s always been sort of my problem child. Between the mostly clay soil, rocks, constant encroachment of the woods (and weeds) and the grazing deer I’ve not had much luck.  I’m hoping to change that though. I’ve got BIG plans for back here and so mom and I headed out to a couple of nurseries last week and I got the humble beginnings for a pollinators paradise.  Salvias, catmints, herbs and a few natives and I’m off and running.
I’m really making an effort to plan this one out but I’m not a ‘formal’ garden plan kind of gal. I mean really unless you are going to spend every second pruning, pinching, dividing and digging, your garden is going to do basically what IT wants. Plants spread to unexpected places, the flop over the borders and they grow how they want despite our attempts to make them do what we want. I’m just trying to actually place stuff a little by size and to group the plants together for the ‘en masse’ impact.  I also made sure to plant a bit away from the beehive as I saw mentioned that they won’t eat where they poop!
I am using cardboard boxes to map out my path area and I hope to get some wood chips to put down on top of them.  I still haven’t settled on one but might be going for a sort of half circle with off shoots into the beds. There was very little left from the previous use of this area, a pussy willow that is lovely, a butterfly bush that blooms faithfully, a red twig dog wood that’s never looked red, a large clump of ornamental grass that’s long lost it’s variegation, some sweet flag iris that haven’t bloomed in years and some purple fringed loosestrife that has been struggling because of dry conditions and deer.  I’m hopeful with some serious sweat and muscle (mine not Randy’s!) I can turn this area into a pollinators paradise!

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