Now I can’t bear growing things that I can’t eat. However, our garden isn’t supposed to just be my allotment. I have remind myself sometimes that it is actually a garden for us to enjoy. So, my other half likes lawns and my little one likes flowers. Growing some flowers had to be done in order to keep the little monkey from picking the fruit flowers but has the added bonus of being bee friendly.
The bees are really important. If you ever want to grow any fruit you’re going to want to encourage bees. Without their pollination (butterflies and hoverflies will also do so but not so effectively) you’ll get diddly squat. Apparently their numbers are fine in cities because we have such a diversity of plant life. In areas of huge single crop fields, when that single crop is no longer flowering how are the bees expected to survive? Anyway, I like to try and grow bee friendly things that I can also eat or that serve other functions.
- Nasturtiums are edible, self-seeding, bee friendly and are used as sacrificial plants (they attract cabbage white caterpillars and aphids, which hopefully keeps them off my other plants)
- Borage, calendula and cornflowers are self seeders that bees and my little one loves. They’re also edible.
- Lavender and rosemary flowers are always swarming with bees. I haven’t found a culinary use for lavender though yet.
- All the mints and alliums are great for bees and are edible
- All fruit, as they basically start as flowers