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Possum proof plants for bees

We’ve been discussing our future here and what we’d like to do. We are in a great rental and we have decided we would like to sit down with our landlord and make a 5 year plan to ensure we are safe to establish things and build infrastructure.

Now we have bees we really want more bee friendly flowers but as we only have the netted orchard area at this stage and we are using that to grow food and herbs it means space for ornamentals is limited due to the rampaging local wildlife.

I’ve been trying to think of ways around this and in my googling ‘plants that possums don’t eat’ I found some results through a PDF file from town and country gardens called ‘Possum proof plants’

Some of the plants listed are already thriving in our garden but not all are safe for bees.

The Rhododendrons are a worry as the flowers can create ‘mad honey’ once used in wars to take down enemies through poison and hallucinations but from what I read the bees tend to avoid it when they have other options and we should be safe (stay tuned!)

White Lillies, lilacs, Iris and daffodils are some ornamental thriving in our garden but what else could we add?

After going through the list and checking which of the mentioned plants are safe for bees these are the ones I’ve chosen for our garden.

My only concern is that some are not safe for any future livestock. I’m not worried about the poultry as they avoid most of the poisonous plants here already naturally (They even eat the foxgloves leaves a little for self worming!).

If we do get goats in the future they won’t be in the areas the ornamentals are so hopefully everyone will be safe!

After we’ve spoken to our landlord we’ll start making a plan for a ornamental garden surrounding the house.

Bergenia cordifolia

Perennial growing approx 30cm high and spreads to 1m. White or pink flowers in winter, it is
excellent as a ground cover, rock garden or border plant. It is easy to grow, and will tolerate a wide
range of conditions, however it prefers semi-shade and moist, rich humus soil.

Acanthus mollis (Bears breech, Tasmanian angel)

Evergreen, soft wooded perennial which grows in an upright clump to approx 1m x 1m. The dark
green, glossy leaves are lobed and toothed. Purple and white flowers appear on tall, erect spikes
from November to January. This plant has weed potential, so should be planted where it can
spread. A great ‘filler’ in a large garden.

Viburnum opulus (snowball tree, cramp bark, Dog berry, guelder rose, )

Viburnum opulus is European cranberry bush. This viburnum shrub grows roughly 10 feet tall and wide. Like many viburnum shrubs, it grows well in full sun or part shade and adapts to many different kinds of soil. Viburnum opulus grows even in consistently moist or wet soils. Once established, this viburnum also shows good resistance to drought, heat and pollution.

Multi-season interest is a hallmark of Viburnum opulus. White flowers up to 3 inches across appear in late spring and early summer and resemble lacecap hydrangea blooms. The blossoms fade to form pendulous berry clusters that ripen from green to bright cherry red by late summer. Typically berries remain on the shrubs through fall and winter until birds eat them the following spring. Green leaves turn shades of gold and red-purple in fall.

Hydrangea

The most commonly grown hydrangeas are a must have shrub for shade – planted in the ground or
pots. Flowers are mainly blue, pink or white and are ball shaped or lacecap form. You can change
the colour of the flowers by altering the pH – pink in alkaline soil, blue in acidic. Pinks and blues can
be intensified using chemicals resulting in mauve, purple and red blooms. They like a fair amount of water

Chaenomeles speciosa (japonica, flowing quince) we already have these here so will propagate them from cuttings

This drought tolerant deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub grows 8 – 10ft with equal or greater spread.
The ‘Flowering Quince’ has a very dense jumble of spiny branches and has white, pink or red
flowers in late winter / early spring. They make a good bonsai specimen. These are the first flowers to bloom after winter and provide food for the bees.

Snow in summer

Great in hanging baskets, this evergreen, drought tolerant, fast growing ground cover spreads to 60cm
in a sunny well drained position. It has furry silver green leaves with masses of white flowers living up
to the common name ‘snow in summer’. Grows well under roses, and looks great planted with
succulents.

Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’

Image result for Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet tasmania

Deciduous tree, 5-20 ft (4.5-6 m), low branching, rounded top, dense thorny (to 2.5 cm long) branches.  Leaves alternate, simple, glossy green, rounded 3-5 lobed, serrulate, of variable size.  Flowers double, scarlet with a tinge of rose, very showy

I’ll add more as I come across them but that’s all for now 🐝

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