Since reading the article Restoring Biodiversity, I have realized that I have unwittingly been helping to restore the balance of insects in my own garden, to a very small degree I admit.
I confess I like to grow some of the bold, multicoloured, double-flowered species that are anathema to bees and insects. However, in mitigation, I would like to say that without plants such as the large showy begonias and other resilient species, my garden would have been a disaster due to the appalling weather conditions that have stunted growth and rotted buds and petals.
I have not noticed a decline in the 'buzz' of insects in my garden this year. I hope that may be due to the wide variety of garden flowers that I grow. Throughout the summer I have noticed many different kinds of bees happily pollinating away. Even now at the beginning of September dozens of my rudbeckias each have an insect or bee foraging in their brown centres. I also love to watch the fattest of bees disappearing time after time into the depths of the nasturtium flowers which are still prolific (so much for their supposed preference for flat flower heads). Bees' alleged preference for blue flowers too seems to have broadened to include anything providing nectar. Sadly I have never seen many butterflies in my garden, apart from the cabbage white (which love my nasturtiums).
Let's hope my experience is not unique nor short-lived, and that the bees have taken a tip from Darwin and are adapting quickly enough to save the world. It is also good to note that the call for meadow-planting has not gone unheeded this year, with colourful displays throughout Britain, including the Olympic site.
Long live the bee!
My Own Bio Plot
by Marina Duffell, 3 September 2012