Early Flowers For Bees
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