Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Fun In The Garden Part One: How To Encourage Bees To Visit Your Garden...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to recommend any products, just sharing my latest fun filled project in our garden x

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  All well I hope and able to enjoy the glorious weather we've been having.  Hubby was on hols from work all last week and I had last weekend off too so we spent all week busily working very happily on home projects and given the gorgeous weather, we decided to concentrate on the garden ๐Ÿ’ฎ 

Hubby has worked so hard during this holiday bless him, taking down the high garden fence between us and our neighbours (a left over from the previous owners) and re-building a lovely new, much shorter, fence in its place.  I'll share lots of before and after photos in my next post, it looks fabulous and I'm so proud of him he did it all on his own.

I've gone back to de-cluttering cupboards and drawers again and we're building quite a collection of things all ready to be donated.

On Tuesday of last week we went grocery shopping and managed to find a few things to help in two long awaited and very much wished for projects in our garden ๐Ÿ˜Š  Let's take a look shall we honeys?

Fun in the garden: creating a welcoming environment for busy bumble bees and starting work on a fairy garden...

We've all been hearing this past couple of years how the worlds bee population is shrinking terribly and I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that this is disastrous for humans as well as for our little buzzy friends.  Bees play such a vital role in so much of the food we eat.

I very often see bees hovering around our much loved roses in our tiny front garden but I wanted to do more to help them so I set about finding out as much as I could about how to encourage them to feel welcome in our garden.

Imagine how pleased I was then honeys to see this marvellous little bee and insect hotel while grocery shopping...   

Imagine how wonderful it would be if there was a calm place for bees to rest and to lay their eggs in every garden?  I'm sure this would go some way to addressing the disastrous fall in bee numbers.

We spotted it in the gardening aisle in Home Bargains and I was thrilled.  I was even happier to find when we got to the checkout to find it was actually priced at £4.99 (even though it says £12 on the wrapper.)

We took it home and I was so happy with it I asked Hubby later in the week when he took a trip back to our local retail park for some masonry paint to bring me another one back.  Unfortunately Home Bargains didn't have any of the large ones left (although they may well get them back in stock) when he went in but they did have a smaller model...
Little bee hotels all ready for tiny guests to check in and "bee" happy :)

As you can see it's around half the size of the larger bee hotel but as it turns out that makes it perfect for what I have in mind too!

Making bees welcome in your garden and why we should... 

The large blueberry shrub in the back garden makes a natural home for the bee hotel since they are often to be found visiting.

As you can see honeys, I've placed the larger of the two bee hotels inside the blueberry shrub, it's almost hidden from view but very easily accessible to the bees who can often be found buzzing happily around this popular garden attraction.

We actually planted this blueberry shrub as a food source for the many tiny birds who visit our garden and it's such a joy to watch them hopping around on the lawn with berries when they're ready to be eaten each year.

It's as much of a pleasure to see the bees visiting it too since bees are known to pollinate these shrubs and in the ten or eleven years since we planted it, the blueberry shrub certainly has grown to take over that area of the garden, mostly I'm sure due to the work of our tiny buzzing guests ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Looking at the above image I think I've actually decided to site the bee hotel onto the fence itself, directly behind the shrub.  It does say on the instruction wrapper of the be hotel to site it in a position that gets the morning sun and away from winds.

There is a hanging bracket on the reverse of the wooden bee hotel so hanging it will be easy and will also keep it up out of the way of visiting furbabies, such as my neighbours cats who I don't ever want to be hurt or accidentally stung.  I couldn't bear that and I know they like to nap in our garden ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฑ

As the packaging on the be hotel explains, being kind to our tiny garden visitors also helps keep our gardens beautiful too!

Yes, I think it would be best up and out of danger, but I will put it low enough to be covered by the leaves of the blueberry shrub to keep the bees safe too. I'm also going to sit a small container on the ground under the hotel to collect rainwater, since water is vital for bees too.

Into this container I'll sit a few rocks or twigs to allow the bees to sit while drinking, so many bees end up drowning because they can't get back out of the containers set up to let them drink.

I really was pleased to be able to find these little ready made bee hotels honeys, and thank you too to a dear friend Mandy (thank you honey x) who told me she found hers in CostCo for American and Canadian cousins trying to find one "across the pond."

Useful Links

As cute as these little bee hotels are honeys, it's also possible (and very easy) to make one yourself too. You can find instructions on how to build a DIY bee home here: Lots of information, instructions and photos from Friends of the earth, are here

How to make create a wonderful, welcoming habitat (even if you don't have a garden!) you can find info here

There is lots of information to be discovered in the downloads page from Friends of the Earth here.

Thompson & Morgan have a great page full of information on how to create your own safe habitats for different species of birds, insects and other little creatures in your garden which you can find here.

The Royal Society For The Protection of Birds has a wonderful page here honeys with lots of useful information.

The RSPB also has a fabulous page setting out lots of fun activities which can help your gardn's wildlife visitors.  You can find it here. 

Discover Wildlife Magazine shares lots of useful information too and you can find their site here.

Back to our shopping trip...

So, other than the little bee hotel (although finding that just made my day!) we also picked up a few other supplies for the garden while grocery shopping honeys.  Included were the following... 

Flower seeds

We're blessed to already have so many pretty plants in our garden, and they are beautiful this year, but we felt our bee project deserved as much help as we could manage so we picked up a couple of boxes of mixed wild flower seeds...

I'm hoping this collection of mixed, vividly coloured seeds in shades of oranges and yellows will attract lots of bees and other pollinators such as butterflies to a quiet corner of our back garden where I'm going to set up a bee hotel for them.

These yellow and orange flowers will be planted in planters in the back garden arranged on the patio ๐Ÿ’ฎ

I picked this box of seeds in blue and purples and pinks to plant near the fairy door in the front garden.... but I'm getting ahead of myself ๐Ÿ˜Š

More beautiful mixed wild flower seeds in shades of blues and purples, will be planted in our front garden in the hope of helping provide a food source for precious bee visitors.

Decorative items... 

While shopping I also spotted an adorable sign (which you can see in the photo below) warning visitors to "step carefully" in the fairy garden ๐Ÿ˜Š It was in Poundland too so it was a bargain.

A sign warns visitors to our garden to watch where they tread, tiny fairies may be nearby...

The other two small signs were found in the gardening aisle at Asda (Walmart) and were only 50p each.  One saying "love grows here" and the other showing a little gnome standing by his home and announcing "Gnome Sweet Gnome" ๐Ÿ˜Š

I've always wanted a fairy garden honeys and this year I've finally made a start on it...

In Poundland I spotted this sweet little fairy door and separate window...

This adorable little fairy door and window was very inexpensive but will add fun and a little quirkiness to our tiny front garden.

As soon as Hubby had finished work on the front panels of his fence re-building project (more on that in my next post) I set about adding this tiny door and window to the fence panels using a tiny nail (they each have a hanging inset) as well as some decorating adhesive...

A decorating adhesive is added to the back of the fairy door (and window) before they're fixed into place on the newly painted garden fence.

They look so cute on the fence honeys, don't you think?

I've set them a little higher than ground level because I knew I'd be sowing those pretty seeds in front of them and it does say on the box that the larger of the seeds can grow as high as 5 or 6 inches from the ground so I'm hoping the door (and window) will hover among the flowers just as a fairy door should...

The little fairy door and window are fixed in place on the garden fence in the front garden.

A leftover from the very (really very!) high fence originally installed by the previous owners of our home is this gate post.  Now no longer needed to be so high (was it ever?) since Hubby has set about reducing the height of the fencing, we thought since it was there anyway, we'd make a feature of it and this is what we've done...

The little area in front of the fairy door and window is to be planted with mixed wild flower seeds and through time the little doorway will be partially hidden by the flowers adding a little mystery to the tiny door.  Meanwhile, the high gate post will be used to add a garden bracket which will house a large round topiary and a solar light.

This photo was taken while Hubby was still working on the fencing project.  The high gate post now looks like this....

The already present tall post near the front door has been used to add a garden bracket, to this bracket we've added two pretty glittery butterflies (might encourage the real thing?) a large topiary ball for decoration and a useful solar powered lantern.

As you can see Hubby has completed the fence panels, having added a gap between each panel to allow the winter storms to blow through instead of (as they have most other years) to blow the fencing over.

The topiary ball has been shortened a little to avoid hitting our heads as we open the gate to the back garden.  I've added a couple of tiny, glittery butterflies to the bracket in the hope of attracting real butterflies to visit the garden and the solar lantern has been added.

This lantern automatically lights up at disk and switches off again at sunrise so it'll add a lovely warm glow to the area around our front door.  A bonus because I get home from work so late in the evening.

Hubby then turned over the earth under the fairy door and we sowed the mixed wild flower seeds...

Freshly planted seeds near the fairy door will hopefully encourage lots of tiny garden guests such as bees, ladybirds and butterflies and who knows, maybe a fairy or two too :)

I asked him to be careful not to disturb, while digging, the tiny fern or the buttercups already there and bless him he was (thank you sweetheart x)

I'm so looking forward to seeing how the garden progresses over the next couple of months.  Will the wildflower seeds take hold?  We have odd earth and even though we've added lots of compost with added plant food nothing is guaranteed as we've learned with past planting projects.

The smaller bee hotel is going to be situated at the base of the huge lemon cypress shrub in our front garden and I'll share some photos when this project is completed.

Any thoughts honeys?  Are you planning your own projects to help your garden wildlife?  Remember a garden isn't even really needed, even a window box with herbs, a small spot on a patio or balcony is wonderful too.  As a bonus you'd also be growing beautiful and (in the case of herbs) yummy additions to your home (and kitchen) imagine freshly grown herbs like chives, mint, rosemary and sage all fresh from your own garden?

You can find an interesting article on which herbs attract bees to your garden and how to use them in the kitchen here honeys.   

For further developments, and photos, of the bee habitat and fairy garden, watch this space honeys :)

What do you think honeys?  Till next time dear ones, wishing you smiles and hugs always, huggles xx

Huggles Always, Rosie xx


  1. I have never felt so homesick!!! It's lovely dear one!!!

    1. Thank you so much honey! Now I'm sitting here smiling :) I hope you're having a wonderful week, thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comment, sending heaps of hugs xx