Getting into the strim of things

I’ve been putting it off for several weeks now but last Thursday I plucked up courage and got out the petrol strimmer

No, not to level the Plants for Bugs plots to the ground - but to tackle the strip of long grass at the rear of the Deer’s Farm site. Normally, I’m all in favour of long grass, but this has been giving us lots of problems with weeds (creeping sorrel in particular) encroaching onto the beds. This patch is missed by the mower as it is too narrow and inaccessible to get the ride-on down there.

With a couple of false starts and some help from our lovely chap, Peter Anderson in Machinery, I was all kitted up and ready to strim. Judi (our Plants for Bugs volunteer) took a few pics of the action with some befores and afters. Needless to say, it was hot work!

While cooling down, I caught a few bees active on our plants. It was very noticeable how some plants favoured the attention of specific types of insect; the yellow-flowered Euryops (exotic bed) was full of small solitary bees, the Stachys byzantina (near-native bed) chock-a-block with honey bees, and the Knautia (near-native bed) luring in a mix of honey bees and butterflies.Solitary bee on Euryops

If you look closely you might notice the yellow pollen grains on the bee visiting in the Euryops and the pink grains on the one on Knautia – so colour co-ordinated!

Bee on Knautia macedonica

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