Saturday, 12 February 2011

This is a small butterbur (Petasitses) about eight inches high, which grows in the lane on the way down to the allotments. There's a much bigger version in the woods, and I'm not sure which, if either, is 'proper' butterbur.

The snowdrops are in full bloom, and I'm busy planting a long row of autumn raspberries. These are the popular ones on the site; I don't know the variety, but lots of people have them. They're easier to manage than the summer raspberries; you just cut everything down in the autumn, and they fruit on the new canes the following year. Crocuses are out; I'm not a fan, and haven't planted anything except a few species crocus.

Hive 4 was busy today, bringing in masses of hazel pollen. I had a look at them; they're starting to raise brood - I find most strains stop in very cold weather - and have patches of eggs and young brood on two frames. Hive 6 has bees in a couple seams, and no brood that I could see. The sun had gone in, the light was bad, and I could easily have missed something. They're looking weak, so I hope they get going!


  1. Many of the plots on our site have autumn raspberries too.
    I understand that where you find butterbur there was usually an old village. They were planted to give bees an early flowering plant to raid.

  2. I hadn't heard that one, but you could well be right. There was a mill on the site from the 17th Century, and we've got tree species which are characteristic of ancient woodland, which doubtless survived in the hedges.

  3. Looks like winter heliotrope, Petasites fragrans, introduced and thoroughly invasive ornamental.

  4. You may well be right. The whole area was gardens at one time, so there are alll sorts of introduced plants in there.