It has been in my mind for sometime to say something about the Wildlife Garden at the Police Sation. As I am sure many of you already know, one of our group, Kathryn Green, along with Helen Galloway, Kim Blasco, and the children and adults of the Woodland Explorers, transformed a small patch of Dalgety Bay near the Police Station into a haven for wildlife. It is looking particularly good just at present with the annuals in the circle a riot of colour and other wildflowers and beneficial garden plants blooming elsewhere on the site.
The different habitats and plants provide benefits for a range of wildlife but at the moment it is especially attractive to pollinating insects such as Bumblebees and Hoverflies.
Red-tailed Bumblebees are often found on the yellow flowers of Bird's-foot-trefoils, as here on Greater Bird's-foot-tefoil, but Cornflowers and related flowers, especially Knapweed are also much used.
Common Carders take nectar from several different flowers in the Wildlife Garden including Red Clover, and this one, from the orange ball of pollen attached to her leg has also found a good source of protein rich pollen.
The long face and long tongue, along with the fringe of yellow hairs in front of her wings, show this to be a Garden Bumblebee. They are the least abundant of the "Big Six" common bumblebees but they do particularly well in Dalgety Bay. They specialise in flowers with deep blooms like Foxglove.
Planting for wildlife and getting it to look good is not easy and requires some well targeted work, but if you want to see how it looks when done well, pop into the garden the next time you are up at the shops and see just how many different flowers and pollinating insects you can see. This is wildlife gardening in a small space at its very best and shows just what can be achieved.
Perhaps you can think about setting aside part of your garden for something similar?