Saturday, 7 May 2011

The May is out

And the clouts are well and truly cast.

This last one is (I think) Midland Thorn; it has smaller leaves, and as you see, pink flowers.

Goodlife sent me a couple of small cuttings of Daubenton's Kale. It's perennial, and, as you see, propagated by cuttings. It rarely sets seed, though it does happen. There are a few perennial brassicas; the only well-known one is Nine-Star Perennial Broccoli, which I'm also growing.  I also have 'Spis Bladene' (which isn't its proper name; we don't know what it is) from the HSL. They say it 'appears to be a perennial kale', suggesting they don't really know themselves. It obviously sets seed, but I believe some of them flower, and then sprout from the base instead of dying. It'll be interesting to see!

On Thursday morning, I passed by the plot, to see dozens of bees flying around two empty hives. There had been a few around for just over a week, and this usually turns out to be the precursor of a swarm, as they stake their new home out in advance, and defend it against other bees. Sure enough, when I returned after lunch, they'd made their choice, and there was a swarm in residence, having frightened a couple of neighbours on the way in. Swarming bees don't sting, but they can certainly look impressive! Unfortunately they have a habit of buzzing round my head. This is a known undesirable habit ('following'), so I'm going to be requeening them. It's hereditary, and I don't want all my bees doing it.


  1. Nice pictures. It will be interesting to see how the perennial kale does.

  2. Lovely pictures. I have a feeling that the pink May is laevigata. Midland, which we get round here but only rarely, is digyna (common being monogyna.) You can tell Midland because there are 2 pips in the haw. I always feel it's a pity that the really dark pink flowers have no scent.

    Your bee posts are always interesting.

  3. I have seen so many honey bees already this year! It has been a really great Spring for blossom. I remember taking a swarm a few years ago when we used to keep bees. We sent off for a new Queen in the post from the monks at Buckfastleigh!