• The A Bee C of Gardening

    Look at this little beauty:

    I photographed her last week at Hidcote, the wonderful National Trust gardens in Gloucestershire, feeding on a Euphorbia.

    She is Andrena cineraria, and she is common in gardens across much of Britain.

    She sort of has a colloquial English name - the Ashy Mining Bee. And she's one of over 250 species of bee in Britain, of which maybe 10-20 species are in each of our back gardens.

    Many…

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • Time for the underdog: it's National Insect Week

    I think it's important to realise that we share this planet with millions of other species. I think it's even more important to understand that we can't do without them.

    So I'm delighted to support the Royal Entomological Society as they launch National Insect Week 2012, which starts today and runs until Sunday 1 July.

    I hand over to RES's Dave George to explain more:

    "National Insect Week is held…

    • 25 Jun 2012
  • Top of the crop at Gardeners World

    Over the last few weeks on this blog, we've spied in on all the hard work the staff and volunteers have been putting in behind the scenes to prepare for the RSPB's 'feature stand' at Gardeners World Live.

    And last week was the show itself. Did you go? I visited on the Thursday and it was heaving with visitors as usual, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the wonderful Carol Klein.

    And hopefully many…

    • 22 Jun 2012
  • Who's after my bulbs, then?

    When it landed on one of my plant pots, it looked for all the world like a cute furry little bumblebee,with thick golden fur all down its sides (have a close look through its wings)..

    It may be enough of a disguise to fool birds into leaving it alone, but it wasn't enough to fool me. Oh no! With those big bulgy eyes and the little fine antennae sticking out from the middle of its face, I knew that this was a hoverfly…

    • 15 Jun 2012
  • The Swallows are coming to Gardeners World Live - are you?

    In a deserted barn in Cambridgeshire, the volunteers have been beavering away on this year's RSPB extravaganza to take to Gardeners World Live. And I've just received the latest photos to tantalise me.

    You may recall our theme on our large 'feature' stand this year is the Swallows' mind-boggling migration from South Africa (here's my first blog on it), and all the gardens and plants they pass…

    • 8 Jun 2012