For many years, the gardens at Mothecombe House have been managed with consideration for the needs of wildlife. Following publication of Professor Dave Goulson’s book “A Sting in The Tail” in 2013, a new awareness of the threats to bumble bees focused our attention on them in particular. Within what is now the Bee Garden, two hundred and fifty lavender plants of twelve varieties replaced rows of showy flowers and old fruit bushes, and form the backbone of the planting, supplemented by bulbs, annuals and perennials. There has been a visible increase in bumble bees, solitary bees and hoverflies in the garden, and we have been visited by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust with a view to using Mothecombe for Bee education and recognition days.
The Bee garden in winter appears somewhat formal, with rows of clipped lavender, tidily pruned roses and aged espaliered fruit trees hugging the walls. But from April, more and more flowers appear, until a trickle of early lavender in June becomes a wave of scent and colour in July and August, absolutely teeming with bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths and humming bird hawk moths.
A list of pollinator friendly plants in Mothecombe Bee Garden can be downloaded from the link below as well as a list of bees identified so far.