A Bee Friendly Roof Garden with MAM®

I’m not one to pass up on a challenge, which is a blessing and a curse! So when MAM® sent me a packet of Cornflower seeds and a challenge to do something environmentally friendly with them for the „Grow With Mam“ challenge, then I couldn’t refuse.

MAM challenge accepted
MAM challenge accepted

I racked my brain for ages and was almost ready to give up when I had a visit from a little friend. I’ve called him Bob the Bee. Bob was lying on a swing in our garden and my daughter almost sat and on him and I almost brushed him off, thinking he was a wasp, but thankfully I took a second look and realized he was a bee.

http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/allergy/hymenoptera-venom-allergy/
http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/allergy/hymenoptera-venom-allergy/
Bob The Bee
Bob The Bee

A few weeks ago I read a short post on Facebook about how bees at this time of year are sometimes struggling to find food and can become exhausted. I felt so sorry for him, I put him in a sand toy sieve and covered him with a small branch to protect him from the sun, birds and also small children. Then I asked my older daughter to get him some sugar water. She did and we watched him lap it up with his little black tongue! He still seemed exhausted so I gave him some maple syrup for good measure. This did the trick. He washed himself off a little (a bit like a cat), I gave him some water and a little encouragement and finally he shook himself off and off he flew.

I was so proud! That evening as I looked again at my pack of seeds and puzzled over what to do, it hit me. Cornflower is very bee friendly! We have a roof terrace on our house which was looking pretty sorry for itself and has been neglected since we spend most of our time chasing our children around the garden. Two birds with one stone? Hooray! So we got started. First of course, I googled what one would need for a bee-friendly rooftop garden. Here are some websites: bees on a rooftop, a rooftop urban garden, flowers bees like.

Our sorry-looking roof terrace!
Our sorry-looking roof terrace!

My daughters loved gardening and especially loved the idea of helping bees, as long as the bees were not too close! I assured them that bees don’t want to bother them either. We first had to clear the old, dead palm tree, clear the weeds, find some plant pots and get some decent earth. They took over from there and loving planted the seeds.

Lilly Taking Command!
Lilly Taking Command!
Pat pat pat
Pat pat pat
Teamwork
Teamwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As it turns out they planted the seeds pretty much in one place so the plants are fighting for space but their faces when we saw the first seedlings were precious! My oldest daughter even remembers to water the plants and says nice things to them to help them grow.

 

 

 

 

The project didn’t end there. Since the roof terrace looked so much nicer and inviting, my husband and I dug out some old garden furniture which he managed to put back together, we put up some decorations and made it into an evening space for the two of us!

Getting ready for a glass of wine. Cheers bees!
Getting ready for a glass of wine. Cheers bees!

It has been amazing sitting out there on warm evenings and being thankful for the whole MAM® idea.

IMG_0052

Sunflowers pushing through too.
Sunflowers pushing through too.
Home-grown beans
Home-grown beans
Our "left for dead" strawberry plant
Our „left for dead“ strawberry plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have also gathered together some more plants which the bees might like; sunflowers, strawberries (left for dead at Lidl but coming back to life in our bee garden) and some green beans for good measure! We are going to add as much as we can as we go along. The bees might not feel the full benefit until next year, but we’re sure that they will find it worth the wait.

 

It is amazing the things that grow out of one idea and one packet of seeds.

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