The Undiscovered Virtue

This week my double-flowering plum has just blossomed to a spectacular show of pink.  The daffodils also just opened to a gorgeous yellow.  The May trees are just sprouting tiny leaves, and crab apple trees are on the verge of exploding with blossoms. There are two Robins hopping around my yard, eating old wrinkled sweet Mountain Ash berries and pecking for an occasional bug still hiding under last year’s dry autumn leaves.

I’ve been watching this one huge bee all week floating around my yard. There isn’t much yet blooming for it to gather nectar or pollen. Yet, despite the show of pretty pinks and bright yellows in my yard, Big Bee prefers the tiny purple flowers growing haphazardly among the old leaves from last year.

Here is Big Bee. Look at its beautiful colours!

Big Bee foraging for food

Big Bee foraging for food

 

I find it very amusing that Big Bee prefers the flowers of this plant.

My ‘Plant Guy’ friend who experiments with many different plants gave me these tiny green plants one year as a ground cover after I told him that I couldn’t get anything to grow. He said ‘be careful, it will take over your yard’ expecting me to hesitate at the warning, but I gratefully took it since – at the time – I had nicknamed my yard ‘the incredible shrinking garden’.

It did proliferate, and grew everywhere. It was the first plant to bloom in the Spring, so I let it go .. and grow… wherever it took root.

‘Plant Guy’ didn’t remember what it was called when he gave it to me so for all this time I never knew either. But I was curious. Why did Big Bee prefer it over other bigger showier flowers?

Guess what? It’s a weed.

This yummy bee food, my bee friends, is called ‘Creeping Charlie’ or ‘Ground Ivy’ (Glechoma hederacea).  It may also be called ‘Gill-over-the-Ground’ and many other names as this article  by TheKitchn explains.

Big Bee loves Ground Ivy / Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

Not only is this good food for bees because it’s wild, and uncultivated, and grows naturally without any help from fertilizers (or pesticides!), but it also has been used by humans as food – in teas, soups, salads, and beer. It apparently has a minty smell. I’m going to check….. wait …

… I wouldn’t really call it minty. It does have a nice hint of lemon. Hmm… I think I’m going to have some tea. 😀

Your task this week, my bee friends, is to try to find some pretty “weeds” that are already growing in your garden. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson says: a weed is “A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”

Have fun in your Garden this week!!

and…as always… Bee Nice to Bees! 😀

 

 

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