My Butterfly, or French Lavender as it’s more commonly known (Lavandula pedunculata), is producing a wonderful array of vivid purple on my balcony at the moment. I have two varieties on the balcony, a standard in a container, and a shrub in my window box. Their flowers are not only beautiful but are a great attraction for bees and other nectar-loving insects.
As you may have heard our bees are rapidly in decline not only in the UK but all over the world. With the loss of wildflowers all over our countryside due to farming and urban sprawl, bees are losing their homes and their food source – flowers. Its not only the bee that will lose out, so will we. They make our honey and also polinate much of our food crops and a huge array of flowers, so it is imperative for us to do what we can to help.
While it’s not really that practical to attract such large numbers to a confined space they seem to be quite courteous to each other and are only visiting one at time. (Although on ocassion I have been seen running from the balcony to avoid their flight path!).
The lavender is a beautiful addition to my balcony and I feel that I am doing a little bit to help the bee! So get lavender planting…
Other plants to give bees a chance: Aliums, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint & Sage (all of which can be found in some of our ready made gardens if you need some help)
A little bit of lavender info for you:
- Flowering period: June and July
- Hardiness: fully hardy (borderline which means its suitable for container gardens)
- Balcony garden care: cut back the stalks after the flowers have faded to retain a compact shape. Carefully trim back in April, taking care not to cut into old wood.