As florists we are often very disconnected from where our flowers and plants come from, and the process of growing them. As gardener’s it’s that process we’re obsessed by. It’s amazing how you find your priorities changing with this small difference, but ultimately the same issues bind us all.
The plight of the honey bee is something that tends to resurface in the news for a brief period every summer, but as a general it’s gone somewhat out of fashion; it shouldn’t have done.
I think bees are really kind of beautiful when you look at them. I had no idea there were so many different types. (Isn’t the above image from Catherine Pape Illustration just gorgeous.) The amazing thing is, that to help save these little guys you don’t need to become a mad ‘bee rights’ activist. All you need to do is make sure that when you plan your garden, you get some of their favourite flavours in there. Lavender, thyme, borage, sage, hollyhock, poppy, buttercup, sunflower, zinnia, aster and crocus are all great options.
Of course there is so much more to it than that. We know that 80% of all pollination worldwide is done by honey bees, including the majoriy of our healthiest foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. We know that the destruction of habitats, and global warming are all magior contributors to the rapid decline in bee numbers, and that sadly all of these influences can be traced back to us, humanity. We also know this needs to change. So, even if it’s on the tiniest of scales, even if you live in London, try and get a pot of thyme growing on the window ledge. Thyme, as it happens is smashing chopped and sprinkled over cooked carrots with a dash of honey. Those bees would ‘bee’ pleased!
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