Flowers · Pesticides · Thoughts

Update & Flower list and when they bloom

Been mostly creating for the last two months so any research has been through doing, hence the lack of posts recently. As an update (more for myself), I am creating a digital booklet on InDesign with a screen printed poster on the reverse to be used as a guide to which flowers you can plant year round to help bees thrive.

The booklet will contain the illustrations i originally did, which started this idea in the first place, and information on when to plant seeds to get an annual bloom (hopefully). The illustrations, including the screenprint, are all completed and ready to be made, so all i have to do is design and make the InDesign document. Easy.

I need to develop a list of flowers im going to look at in my book and research them a little so this post is that research.

ASTERS
Daisy-like flowers that can bloom year round, depending on the type of flower. Plant the early to mid spring in full or partial sunlight. Can be eight inches or eight feet tall, again depending on type of flower. Comes in a variety of colours.
http://www.almanac.com/plant/aster

CROCUS
Goblet-shaped flowers that can bloom year round depending on the type of flower. Plant in early winter months in pre-fertilized soil that drains well and is in full or partial sunlight. Grows 2-4 inches tall. Comes in a variety of colours.
http://www.almanac.com/plant/crocuses

CALENDULA
A bright yellow/orange flower that can grow year round with the correct care. Plant seeds in early spring in soil that drains well and is in full or partial sunlight.
http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/growingcalendula.html

HYACINTH
Grouped open flowers on a stem that flower april-may. Plant bulbs in early autumn in well drained soil in full sunlight. Comes in a variety of colours
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=614

SNAPDRAGONS
Come in a variety of colours and heights and flower april-june. Plant seeds indoors early spring and move outside to well drained and fertilised soil in full sun once its warmer.
http://www.flowers.org.uk/flowers/flowers-names/q-t/snapdragon/

DANDELIONS
A self-seeding bright yellow weed commonly found in pastures, lawns, orchards and so on. Flowers in may-june and possibly again in autumn months. Help it thrive by not using/restricting the use of pesticides and weed killers in your garden.
https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/weeds/dandelion

LILAC
A very easy, usually purple, plant to grow that flowers in may-june. Can thrive in any soil type and should be planted mid-autumn.
http://www.gardenfocused.co.uk/shrub/lilac-care.php

HOLLYHOCK
A tall spire of flowers in different colours that blooms in may-june. Seeds should be planted in late summer/early autumn and will flower year after year.
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/594334/How-to-grow-hollyhocks

BUDDLEIA
Available in different shades of pinks and purples, this flower should be planted in late spring. The robust plant has bunched flowers that bloom from may-sept, giving a long flowering period.
https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/plants/shrubs/how-to-grow-buddleja-plants

SUNFLOWERS
Tall, large bright yellow flowers that bloom in june-july. They should be planted in mid-spring roughly 30 inches apart to allow room for growth. Can grow up to 3m tall.
http://www.almanac.com/plant/sunflowers

BORAGE
A self-seeding herb that grows up to 30cm tall and had edible leaves. They bloom in june/july and should be planted in spring. Has blue flowers and dark green leaves.
http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/growingborage.html

CONEFLOWERS
Ranging from white to deep purple, these flowers bloom in June-Aug. They should be planted in late summer/early autumn and be placed in fertile soil.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools/family-activities/grow-it/grow/coneflower

BLACK EYED SUSAN
Can come in orange, red or yellow. These flowers should be planted in early spring and bloom from june-sept. Plant them in well drained soil in full or partial sun.
http://www.almanac.com/plant/black-eyed-susans

FOXGLOVE
These flowers should be sown indoors at first and be lightly pressed into fertile compost, not buried, as they require sunlight for germination. Plant outside in early autumn (or early spring if they are not large enough) for a bloom in june-sept. Comes in a variety of colours.
https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/plants/woodlanders/how-to-grow-foxgloves

COMMON YARROW
These should be planted in spring for a bloom in june-sept in full sun and moist but well drained soil. Available in a variety of colours.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/311/Achillea-millefolium/Details

GIANT HYSSOP
Can be planted as seeds in early spring or planted as ripe cuttings in late summer for overwintering under cover. Blooms in july-august. Available in a range of blues and purples.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=5149

JOE-PYE WEED
A common weed that produces pale pink/purple flowers. Should be planted in early spring and bloom in july-august. Help them to thrive by not using/restricting the use of pesticides and weed killers in your garden.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/joe-pye-weed/growing-joe-pye-weed.htm

GOLDENROD
Small bright yellow flowers on yellow stalks that bloom july-august. Can self seed and should be planted in early spring in full sunlight.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/96480/i-Solidago-i-Goldenmosa/Details

 

These are the flowers I’m using and the general information i’ll need for each one. Now i just need to get designing.

Bees · Extinction · Facts · Flowers · Population

“The London Pollinator Project”

Happened to be flicking through a magazine (Gardener’s World) in a waiting room when I came across this website: http://www.savelondonbees.co.uk. It is packed full of useful info so I thought I’d go through it.

 

Help pollinators in your green space:

  1. Use Native Plants
  2. Build a Bee Condo
  3. Mow your grass less often
  4. Don’t use pesticides
  5. Plant flowers in clumps
  6. Make a mini wildflower meadow
  7. Make a pond or a watering hole
  8. Create a deadwood pile

Plant bee-friendly flowers:

  1. Plant a variety throughout the year
  2. Plant singular flowers; most hybrid and double flowers are little use to bees
  3. Plant more purple flowers; bees have a natural preference to this colour
  4. Plant tubular shaped flowers (foxgloves, honeysuckle, penstemons, snapdragons). Easy acesss for bees
  5. Spring Examples: Bluebells, Bugles, Crab apple, daffodil, flowering cherry, forget-me-nots, hawthorn, rhododendrons, rosemary, viburnum
  6. Summer Examples: Aquilegia, Astible, Campanula, Comfrey, Delphinium, Sweet Pea, Fennel, Foxgloves, Geraniums, Snapdragons, Thyme
  7. Autumn Examples: Angelica, Asters, Buddleia, Cardoon, Cornflowers, Dahlias, Fuchsia, Globe Thistle, Heather, Lavender, Penstemon, Verbena.

Bee-friendly flower resources:

  1. http://www.rosybee.com
  2. http://www.beehappyplants.co.uk
  3. beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org
  4. http://www.lbka.org
  5. http://www.plantlife.org
  6. buzzaboutbees.net
  7. urbanbees.co.uk
  8. bbka.org.uk
  9. buglife.org.uk
  10. bumblebeeconservation.org

These simple practices will help pollinators dramatically:

  1. Let it grow: cut back less often and allow plants to flower. Let a section of your garden grow wild and do what it wants
  2. Do not disturb; Leave hibernating insects and nests alone and give them places to do so.
  3. Do not use, or try to use very little, pesticides: only use if absolutely necessary as they kill off bees

Why Bees matter:

  1. These pollinators are responsible for most of our food resources.
  2. It is estimated they contribute to over £400million per year to the UK economy and £14.2billion per year to the EU economy alone.
  3. Without them, hand pollination would be required, significantly increasing the costs of fruit and vegetables.
  4. There would also be a significant decrease in wild flowers and plants.

Why are bees in decline:

  1. Change in countryside; gone from colourful wildflowers to crops and livestock.
  2. The past abundance of wildflowers supported a greater diversity of wildlife
  3. Huge increases in human populations demand a huge increase in food productions, resulting in a huge loss in wild flowers. It is estimated that 97% of our flower rich grassland has been lost since the 1930s.
  4. Decline in flowers means dramatic decline in bees; 2 species of bumblebee in the UK have already become extinct and 2 others are endangered. The same goes for outside the UK.
  5. Further info on sos-bees.org, http://www.rhs.org.uk and TEDtalks on Bee Decline

This is all useful information that shows me what is already in place to help bees in London; I need to look around more websites to see what is being done elsewhere. I could also network with these charities and projects to see if a potential collaboration or something could happen. As mentioned before, I’d love to produce these books on behalf of someone.

SOURCES:
savelondonbees.co.uk

Handmade · Paper

Plantable Seed Paper

I need to figure out how to place seeds IN the paper I want to make. Can I just stick them in or will they start sprouting if the paper is wet??

I found a website (https://plantableseedpaper.co.uk/shop/recycled-seed-paper-various-colours/) that actually sells the paper I want to make, but only at A5 size (and its so expensive!), so it can be done and is probably cheaper to do so myself.

If I use paper that is originally suitable for printing on, I should be able to screen print on the resulting paper. I’ll need to be able to put instructions on the paper as well so it’s vital that I can print on it.

I’ve bought a bunch of seed packets so I’m ready to go..

HOW TO:

Materials & Equipment

  • Scrap paper: newspapers, magazines (not high gloss), pre-soaked non-waxed boxes, greeting cards, paper grocery bags, flyers, unused paper napkins, phonebook pages, envelopes, receipts, etc.
  • Seeds: must be small and flat; choose non-invasive species such as forget-me-not and poppy flowers, or herbs such as basil, mint, and thyme*
  • Scissors or paper shredder (or tear by hand)
  • Sink OR large, flat tub
  • Blender OR bowl and eggbeater
  • Measuring cup
  • Old frame (e.g., picture frame) OR scrap wood and screws to make your own (measure to fit inside your sink or tub)
  • Mesh screen (the stiffer the better)
  • Tacks or stapler
  • Wax paper (size of your frame)
  • Glass jar or rolling pin (helps press water out)
  • Rags or dishcloths (must be larger than your frame) OR newspapers
  • Cardboard
  • Iron

Note: Choose species that are native to your area. These will vary depending on where you are in the world.

Directions

  1. Tack or staple the screen tightly across the frame.
  2. Tear or shred scrap paper into small pieces. Soak in warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Half fill the blender or bowl with paper mixture and water. Blend or beat until smooth.
  4. Add blended mixture (pulp) to your sink or tub, about three blender loads.
  5. Stir in seeds.
  6. Dip the screened frame into the pulp mixture. Move it gently from side to side. Try to catch an even layer of pulp on the screen.
  7. Lift the frame to let water drain through. Rest it on a stack of towels or newspapers. Place wax paper sheet on top and roll across paper to squish out moisture.
  8. Once the dripping has stopped, place the frame — pulp side down — onto a dry dishcloth.
  9. Carefully lift the screen. The paper should drop out easily onto the cloth. (You might need to tap it with your fingers.)
  10. Once you have a stack of seed paper sheets separated by dishcloths, put a piece of cardboard on top of the stack and apply pressure to squeeze out any remaining water.
  11. Let paper dry completely (overnight).
  12. Gently pull cloth pieces away.
  13. Optional: complete drying by placing paper between dry dish towels and pressing with a warm iron.

Planting Instructions

The paper part of your creation will compost naturally, so you can plant it either in indoor pots or outside in the spring or summer. Cut into strips for a colourful flower or herb border in your garden!

SOURCE:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/make-your-own-recycled-seed-paper/

 

This process is literally the same as making usual paper, you just have to chuck the seeds in. Now I just need to make a mesh screen to collect the pulp from.

Handmade · Paper

How to make PAPER

To make the paper:

Here is what you will need:

  • blender or egg beater
  • mixing bowl
  • flat dish or pan (9″x13″ or a little larger than the screen)
  • round jar or rolling pin
  • newsprint, scrap paper or wrapping paper
  • piece of non-rusting screen (about 12″ x 8″ or the size of paper you want to make)
  • 4 pieces of cloth or felt to use as blotting paper (same size as screen)
  • 10 pieces of newspaper for blotting
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons of instant starch (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Tear the newspaper, scrap paper, or wrapping paper into very small bits. Add 2 cups of hot water to ½ cup of shredded paper.
  2. Beat the paper and water in the blender, or with the egg beater, to make pulp. Mix in the starch (optional). Completed pulp should be the consistency of split pea soup.
  3. Pour the pulp into the flat pan.
  4. Slide the screen into the bottom of the pan and move it around until it is evenly covered with pulp.
  5. Lift the screen out of the pan carefully. Hold it level and let it drain for a minute.
  6. Put the screen, pulp-side up, on a blotter that is placed on top of newspaper. Put another blotter over the pulp, and more newspaper over that.
  7. Roll a jar or rolling pin over the “sandwich” of blotter paper to squeeze out the rest of the water.
  8. Take off the top newspaper. Flip the blotter and the screen very carefully. Do not move the pulp, it will take at least 12 to 24 hours to dry depending on how thick and wet the paper is.

SOURCE:
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/eek/cool/paper.htm

 

To make the screen:

Supplies

  • 2 picture frames – same size, with everything removed – you should be left with just the frames
  • Hardware Cloth – a type of stiff wire mesh used for fencing, screen doors, etc.
  • Window screening – use aluminum, not fiberglass
  • Foam Weatherstrip Tape – it’s adhesive on one side, and usually used for doors & windows
  • Staple gun & staples
  • Duct Tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Optional: polyurethane & paintbrush

STEP 1: CUT THE SCREENING

Cut down the hardware cloth and window screening, using your wire cutters and junky scissors. You’ll want to make them both the same size, and just slightly larger than the picture frame size.

STEP 2: STAPLE

Find the flattest side of one picture frame. Layer the hardware cloth and window screening on the frame. The window screening should be on top.

Staple the sandwiched layers to the frame. Make sure the screen layers are flat and taut before you start using the staple gun.

A good trick is to first place a staple at the center of each edge. From there, keep going around from side to side, working your way outward from each center staple.

STEP 3: TRIM, DUCT TAPE, & WEATHERSTRIP TAPE

Trim off the excess edges, or any violent-looking wires.

Now, time for everyone’s favorite fix-it solution — duct tape! Cover all four edges, making sure not to go past the interior edge of the frame.

Last but not least – make the deckle! Take the second picture frame (that you haven’t touched yet) and apply foam weatherstrip tape. It’s adhesive, and you’ll want to apply on the flatter backside of the frame, all around the edges. This creates quite a tight seal, and prevents pulp from leaking out between the mould & deckle when you’re forming sheets.

This tutorial is good for smaller, hand-sized moulds. For anything bigger than around 8″ x 10″, the center of the mould might start to sag, causing issues with sheet formation.

SOURCE
http://www.paperslurry.com/2014/08/01/make-mould/

OR

I can buy one here –> http://www.vycombe-arts.co.uk/onlineshop/prod_3693855-Professional-Papermaking-Mould-Deckle.html

Bees · Flowers · Pollination

91 Flowers/herbs/etc that bees like

  1. Coneflowers
  2. Common Yarrow
  3. Sunflowers
  4. Giant Hyssops
  5. Horsemint
  6. Black-eyed Susan
  7. Asters
  8. Joe-pye Weed
  9. Goldenrods
  10. Dahlias
  11. Lavender
  12. Alliums
  13. Buddleia
  14. Catmint
  15. Foxgloves
  16. Honeysuckle
  17. Penstemons
  18. Snapdragons
  19. Bluebells
  20. Bugles
  21. Daffodils
  22. Flowering Cherry
  23. Forget-me-nots
  24. Hawthorn
  25. Pulmonaria
  26. Rhododendron
  27. Rosemary
  28. Viburnum
  29. Sweet peas
  30. Fennel
  31. Geraniums
  32. Potentilla
  33. Teasel
  34. Thyme
  35. Verbascum
  36. Cardoon
  37. Cornflower
  38. Fuchsia
  39. Thistles
  40. Heather
  41. Ivy
  42. Scabious
  43. Sedum
  44. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)
  45. Lantana
  46. Bee Balm
  47. Borage
  48. Oregano
  49. Sweet Alyssum
  50. Alstroemeria
  51. Lion’s tail
  52. Penstemon
  53. Red Hot Poker
  54. Salvia
  55. Daisies
  56. Pussy Willow
  57. Apple/Crabapple trees
  58. Honeysuckle
  59. Strawberry tree
  60. Abelia
  61. Lungwort
  62. Comfrey
  63. Crocus
  64. Snowdrop
  65. Recurrant
  66. Chives
  67. Runner/Broad Bean
  68. Marjoram
  69. Kale
  70. Sage
  71. Raspberries
  72. Cosmos
  73. Calendulas
  74. Marigolds
  75. Primulas
  76. Rudbekia
  77. Hellebores
  78. Clematis
  79. Mint
  80. Hebe
  81. Echinacea
  82. Mignotette
  83. Thrift
  84. Sea Pink
  85. Sweet Williams
  86. Poppies
  87. Monarda
  88. Verbena Bonariensis
  89. Ageratum
  90. Echinops
  91. Digitalis

 

Sources used in this blog post:
-http://www.sunset.com/garden/flowers-plants/plants-pollination/view-all
-http://fafard.com/terrific-flowers-for-honey-bees/
-http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/plant-inspiration/plants-for-bees/
-https://www.foe.co.uk/page/28-great-plants-bees?gclid=CLzdsIaN49ICFQ0z0wodHyYE2g
-http://honeylove.org/top-30-flowers-for-bees/

Thoughts

Change in research methods..

I’ve noticed some older blog posts I’ve done are now missing their images and I cannot seem to rectify the issue.

SO from now on, if I’m doing any research on something visual rather than textual, I’m going to put it into a research sketchbook or file and talk about it there. That way I can avoid adding images to this blog and stop this problem from recurring.

It makes it a little more annoying having to have my research in two different places, but if thats what it takes..

OR I could make more use of pinterest???