Monday, 21 June 2010

Clover and Bees

If you were ever in doubt over having clover in your garden I'll give you two very important reasons:

1) Clover fixes nitrogen into your soil, feeding the grass
2) Bees love it, at any one time I have between 10-20 Bees just on the clover, ignore the rest of the plants in the garden.

Admittedly I will need to get rid of some but that can wait until later in the year. It's taking over the lawn but if it's going to feed the grass and Bees then I can live with that for another few weeks or so.





There are lots of different species, even these tiny ones that I haven't yet managed to get good shots of… As they fly, they almost look blue, it's just a silvery blue insect flying around…

There it is, in the top right corner!



14 comments:

Nutty Gnome said...

...... and I thought we'd got a lot of clover! :D

Phil said...

couldn't agree more about the value of clover for bees (and some moths) - it literally hums with them - should be sown on spare patches of land whenever possible.

Kimberly said...

Liz, I enjoy clover. It's so underrated. Your photos are spectacular!

ShySongbird said...

I too have Clover in what I laughingly call my lawn but yes the bees do love it which has to be good. Great photos again!

Town Mouse said...

In my garden, there's so much else for the bees (ceanothus, bee sage, lupine) that I actually don't allow clover, which turns an unhappy brown in summer because I don't water.

So, maybe it depends a little bit on where you live whether the clover should stay or should go. It does look very beautiful in your garden.

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Liz those photos are great - you must have been lying on the clover to get those photos - a bit risky with all those bees!.

I used to be such a purest with my lawns - my front hasn't got a single weed or piece of clover but its such a chore keeping it green with feed.

But in my back garden - grass struggles to grow and I've recently started letting the little clumps of clover grow as I think it will give me a greener lawn without much effort and another little food source for the little bees.

Liz said...

Hi Liz,

Haha, I’ll remove it though once it’s finished flowering, otherwise I really will be left with no lawn at all. It’s actually doing me a favour at the moment because the area of lawn its growing in is the near dead patch because of the clay underneath. So rather than dead grass at least I get to see lovely green clover leaves and the cream flowers instead!

It is an annoyance though because you have to make a detour around the lawn just to ensure you don’t step on any Bees! Lol.

Last night I discovered what that teeny tiny Bee is – it’s a leaf cutter bee and is improving my Hollyhock leaves drastically, they’re now a lovely lacy pattern………

Liz said...

Hi Phil,

Originally I bought chocolate clover as it’s supposed to be excellent for the Bees, it however doesn’t seem to attract half as many as the plain old common white one does. Eventually I noticed some appear in the lawn and I’ve left it for the past couple of years, but it’s now getting too large. So I’ll leave some but get rid of most at the end of the summer. At the rate it grows I imagine I’ll have a similar sized patch next year too.

Liz said...

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks very much! :)

Liz said...

Hi Jan,

Indeed, and Bees need all the help they can get at the moment, so every little helps. Not only that but is also attracts flies, which the Birds will also appreciate especially if they have young.

Liz said...

Hi TM,

I can understand your pov, and I too will be getting rid of some of mine at the end of the summer but I am leaving it to grow purely for the flowers… Once they’ve finished then I’ll get rid. I also have other Bee attractors such as Bergamot, Astrantia, Lupin, Pyracantha, Elder, Trefoil, Roses, Sea Holly, Foxgloves etc etc etc but the Clover is simply amazing and I don’t think I would ever be without it anymore.

Liz said...

Hi Rosie,

I was sat in a patch of non-flowering clover at the time, so I was nice and safe from the Bees!

I keep my lawns ‘weed’ free too, Dandelions, Willowherb and such are all pulled out but I decided to keep the clover and daisies because of their attraction for the insects… Small Copper butterflies like the Daisies and obviously Bees like the Clover, so they’re both winners in my eyes :)

Plus, like your back garden the area the Clover is taking over is actually a poor patch of grass – it was laid on heavy yellow clay by the previous owners with no sign of any top soil between, and always looks half dead, so actually the Clover is doing me a favour as it’s far prettier to look at than yellowing patchy grass.

debsgarden said...

I love clover! When I was a child I used to pick it and tie the stems together to make long clover chains. I also love its smell. I can't believe that in all my space I have no clover growing! I think, now that you have reminded me, I may actually have to plant some!

Priscilla said...

I don't have a big garden, can Clover be planted in containers or raised beds? I need more bees :)