I worry about bees. In my garden, a wild bee is a rarity. Each year there are fewer honey bees and there are more and more bumble bees, which tend to damage the blossom on my fruit trees and beans.
When I learned that most flowering plants are grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids, neuro-active insecticides that reach flowers and harm foraging bees, I decided to grow more flowering plants. Bee-loved and SAFE, from seeds without neonicotinoids, where possible heritage seeds and open pollinated seeds that will then provide more ‘safe’ seeds and plants. To distribute as widely as possible. Let me know if you’d like some.
I already have Calendula and Borage. Alyssum. Poppies. Evening Primrose. Italian Parsley and other flowering herbs-to-cook-with. All self sown in my garden, which has been spray-free for almost 35 years. And some plants from the organic shop. Lavender. Rosemary. But now I’m adding others, from Koanga Institute and King’s Seeds– Peony Black Poppy, Hyssop, Wild Thyme, Bee Balm Bergamot, Anise Hyssop, Lemon Bergamot, Cornflowers. My Sunflower seeds from last year have already sprouted.
And my mates are helping me. They live on the Kapiti Coast, where it’s warmer and their garden gets more sun. Yesterday, one mate brought the first batch of seedlings into town. I met them at the station and it felt like meeting a new baby.
After that, to celebrate, we went to French Can Can, the best-ever Wellington cafe for French savouries and cakes. The boss, Eric Hauser, has TWO Michelin stars. And it shows.
One of us had a quiche and a mille-feuille with coffee, the other an amazing little chocolate friand-like cake, filled with a delicious gooey chocolate and raspberry sauce, with a pot of tea. The tea came with a three minute tea timer, so the tea drinker could be sure to get some anti-oxidants. Then I took the baby plants home to meet the tomato seedlings.
Welcome to the world, baby plants!