New garden!

During the last few months, my apiary and I have moved to a new location. Moving during a pandemic was certainly a bit of a strange situation, especially with lockdown measures in place.

Luckily, these have lessened and I have completely moved. So! What’s this new garden situation we’re dealing with?

I’ve ended up in an area with quite a lot of agriculture, unfortunately most of this is mono culture corn for animal feed, residential areas, a swampy-forest nature reserve 2 minutes away and a beautiful river with flowering riverbanks & dams. I’m still in the north of Belgium; Flanders.

For spring the natural reserve provides plenty of flowering plants. During the month of May I’ve seen the black locust (robinia pseudoacacia) and chestnut (castanea sativa) trees bloom profusely. My own garden has 44 Linden (tilia cordata) trees growing in it, which makes June a wonderful month for honey. July looks a bit less rich. In August I expect the area to get richer in nectar again.

The garden, although it has 44 mature linden trees, has been neglected for quite some time. The previous owner didn’t do more than lawn care, so I can definitely do better by growing more flowering plants.

I brought seeds from the old location and have sown malva sylvestris, verbena bonariensis, hollyhocks (alcea rosea) and various volunteer aquilegia. Most of these do not bloom during the first year, especially not when sown during summer. But if I sow them now and protect them during winter, I will have beautiful plants for spring. I also brought over my two-year old echinacea purpurea plants, which will soon be given a permanent spot somewhere.

My ambition in this garden is not only to make the place better for honeybees, I want to attract butterflies! Next spring I’ll start establishing areas of fennel and verbena where swallowtails can find a home.

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