experiments with Strulch mineralised straw mulch and bees on muscari

the bees have been going mad for the muscari

bee on muscari

bee on muscari

the bees are also loving the snakeshead fritilaries, they go right up into the flower and seemed to be there for ages, there must be a lot of nectar and pollen in there

snakeshead fritilary

below, nigella and pansy have been self-seeding in the cracks between paving stones on the patio next door

I heard about mineralised straw mulch on Gardeners' Question Time a few weeks ago and decided I must try it. By googling I found there was one called Strulch that was available at a nursery in Sandridge, near St Albans, Carpenters Nursery.

3 milk thistles surrounded by Strulch

I bought these milk thistles recently and already the slugs had attacked them so thought surrounding them with Strulch would be the first test. I still don't understand how a thistle could be so attractive to slugs, but it is.

milk thistle with Strulch

two lupins surrounded by Strulch

I grew the one on the left from seed and had been keeping it in a pot to keep it away from the slugs. The one on the right I bought at the nursery with the Strulch.

lupins with Strulch

another auricula in bloom, a more attractive colour, lots of farination


and another auricula



the next 3 pics might not look like much but I'm happy to have 3 hostas coming up this spring - planting them in pots have prevented the slugs from making a meal of them