Early Flow­ers For Bees

My Weekly - - Gardening -

As well as com­mon snow­drops, I have a few spe­cials that peo­ple have given me and my favourite is Galan­thus Au­gus­tus. It has plump and puck­ered flow­ers and was named af­ter the fa­mous 20th cen­tury plants­man and writer E A Bowles. His mid­dle name was Au­gus­tus and many plants are named af­ter him such as the wall­flower Bowles’ Mauve and Bowles’ golden grass.

Raised beds are great for show­ing off lit­tle trea­sures so you can see them more eas­ily.

I have cy­cla­men for au­tumn and cy­cla­men for late win­ter, two dif­fer­ent types that are happy among trees and shrubs. Out now are the Cy­cla­men coum with their pretty pink, white or ma­genta flow­ers and at­trac­tively marked leaves.

If I look closely I can find a num­ber of Fe­bru­ary flow­ers to pick for the house. In a lit­tle jug there are some early prim­roses, lung­worts and a deep ma­roon wall­flower, just enough to scent the kitchen. The ear­li­est of the lung­worts is called Red­start and it’s an ex­cel­lent plant for the bum­ble­bee queens that are out now, feed­ing and look­ing for nest sites.

Flow­er­ing red­cur­rant is a re­li­able cot­tage gar­den favourite with red or pink flow­ers that is great for bees too.

Galan­thus Au­gus­tus Flow­er­ing Red­cur­rant

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