It Bee Spring
With the passing of the vernal equinox spring in it’s proper guise is suddenly evident. The surge of growth that extended day length and warmth brings with it the most uplifting feeling and without doubt the best time of year to be a gardener. It is now when much of the hard work endured during the winter months is rewarded with fresh shoots and blossom where maybe none was before.
One area of the gardens where this is the case is within the rose garden where with a little serendipity we have created a nascent Bee garden. When winter storms brought down more trees onto the west facing embankment of the rose garden some radial action had to be taken. It involved removing all the Rhododendron Ponticum above the curious low wall with it’s mysterious collection of niches set into it.We then proceeded to excavate the lower portion of this wall which dates from the 1670’s and found it had a lower set of niches of various sizes but all deliberately made with some purpose in mind. I believe that the purpose was to house some form of Bee Skeps and the wall was built with this in mind as it is west facing, very sheltered and close enough to the house to be watched over. The niches in the wall may have been intended as ‘Bee Boles’ as they are small in height for traditional straw Bee Skeps and like much else at Adlington unique in construction. Not withstanding we have decided to convert two of the fallen trees on the embankment into Bee hotels for the different species of wild Bee and plant the whole embankment with Bee friendly plants both native and exotic.
Anthony O’Grady, Head Gardener. Adlington Hall and Gardens