Wednesday, June 6, 2012

sweet home

I moved!  Again!  I now live in Smithville, Tennessee, population 4,500 and home to the famed old-time/bluegrass festival known as the Fiddler's Jamboree.  This is officially the tiniest, most rural place I've lived to date.  Here is my super-cute cottage:

Since the semester ended, I've been taking a break from fibers-related endeavors and have instead concentrated on other activities; mainly unpacking and reading as many non-textbooks as possible before summer classes begin.

Recently my gentleman friend started keeping several hives of bees, and I have been learning all about the plight of our pollinating friends!

I don't think I'll be setting up my own hive any time soon, but I was sure to include many plants of particular interest to bees in my container garden.

Above we have veronica (also called speedwell), coreopsis, beebalm and veronica together (all for the bees), followed by a pepper plant of unknown variety, thyme, and a tomato plant.

Flanking my front door I placed two lemongrass plants.  Somewhere long ago I read that lemongrass repels fleas and ticks; whether that is true I am not sure, but given that I live in tick territory now, I'd like to hedge my bets.  Next to the lemongrass I have flat-leaf parsley, which tastes marvelous!  Sitting on the porch I planted another mystery pepper, rosemary, and a tomato.  On the steps, for the bees: beebalm again (such odd-looking flowers!), sage (for me, but the bees are also interested), and Russian sage (purple) and coreopsis together.

Not pictured: lantana flowers in two colors (I don't know whether bees like these but they smell nice when cut), lavender, and creeping thyme.

If you want to learn more about bees, watch this lecture!  It's engaging without being too academic, and covers bee-friendly gardening.

For a more general overview, watch PBS's excellent Nature program, Silence of the Bees!  Bees are interesting creatures indeed, and I enjoy watching them busy themselves on the flowers around my house.  So... any beekeepers out there?