Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Bee-autiful Poppies June 10, 2009

Filed under: bugs,flora,my garden — greenwalks @ 5:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I have a lot of poppies in my garden at the moment, all bright (loud, really) colors, all about to have a bunch of interesting seed heads but also floppy, dried-out foliage. Many will get yanked to make room for summer annuals, a few more perennials that need to be liberated from their pots, and my growing herb collection.

While they last, though, the poppies not only put on a riotous visual show but also get the bees going nearly insane with delight. I am easily distracted from garden tasks (and they are legion at the moment, including boring endless watering since we have had no appreciable rain since mid-May – what is this, California?!) and love to watch and listen to them wander around the garden and roll around in the pollen. Here is one in the big showy red poppy right outside our front windows:

Bee in poppy

I know we are supposed to be worried about colony collapse, but I have seen a ton of honeybees this spring so maybe things are not so bad as they have been? Anyone know?

I had to hold onto this smaller poppy to take the photo, since the bee was making it wave around so much. Darker bee, maybe a mason bee? I don’t have bee houses so whoever comes to visit, they are making their own homes and hives.

Bee in orange poppy

Lastly, I don’t know quite how they got into my garden, but late spring and early summer would not feel complete for me at this point without my parking strip full of California poppies. I mention them a lot because they just make me so dang happy. The bees agree on this one too – this time it’s a bumblebee.

Bee on California poppy

We just watched the latest Mike Leigh film on DVD, “Happy-Go-Lucky.” I thought it would maybe be annoying, as his work sometimes can be, but it was one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while (click here to see the trailer). A very nuanced take on the daily life of someone who either by nature or choice is just a truly compassionate, funny, joyful person. Her name – oh, did you need to ask? Poppy!


10 Responses to “Bee-autiful Poppies”

  1. Aerie-el Says:

    Really great photos, and how nice to include our little bee buddies in each one!

  2. Catherine Says:

    The poppies here just started blooming. I’ve seen quite a few honeybees too, although compared with bumblebees there aren’t that many.
    Great pictures, I love the colors.

  3. Jane Says:

    That first poppy picture is absolutely wonderful and almost abstract in the way you’ve framed it. I’d love to have a poster of it at 36X42 inches!

    I think mason bees are smaller than honeybees but also much slimmer – almost wasplike in their thickness, but I like your little dark bee a lot. We’ve had mason bees in our houses for several years. They come out very early in spring, so need early spring flowers like mahonia. I recently learned a lot about bees from an article on the Log House Plants site:
    It’s a great article and they grow great plants!

  4. Grace Says:

    Hi~~ Beautiful photos! Aren’t those bees just so entertaining? I keep cycling through obsessions and after a several-year hiatus, I’m back to obsessing over poppies. I’ve got a pink flowered California poppy that after recovering from possibly too much coddling, is putting on a nice show despite me.

    I hope appreciable rain is in your near future. Watering at this time of year is a bit disconcerting.

  5. Michelle Says:

    Pretty poppies! For some reason I’ve really come to like the color orange in the garden. Maybe because it shows so well in the bright summer sun here. The hungry deer have been eating all the flowers though, the boogers.

    The black bee might be a carpenter bee. They used to nest in my potting bench but they never bothered me, they’re not aggressive.

  6. jean Says:

    Yay! Poppies! I have been bothered by the straggly foliage too but think I will just move my poppies to a wilder part of the garden. For now, they just get chopped back rather ruthlessly.

  7. Jen Says:

    So beautful – I just love poppies even though I’ve failed to grow them several times. I also love anything by Mike Leigh – I remember being so impressed with Naked and vowing to watch everything else he directs. I need to see this one!

  8. Megan Says:

    One thing I newly appreciate about poppies is the way you can dig them out when you’ve tired of their tattered leaves, but they come back again the next year. I learned this by trying to get rid of them altogether, but I’m sort of glad they decided to keep returning.

  9. Between you and my mother I am convinced I need more poppies. So vivid and alive!

  10. Boy the bees are thick in my garden too. Bumblebees and wild honey bees and others. My husband was commenting about all the bee problems and wondering if that is the case, why so many bees in our garden? I think it’s because we don’t use pesticides and I plant tons of bee friendly plants. I love seeing them around.

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