This is a guest post from Frank Schuurman, who is a retired nurseryman living in West Auckland. Frank's post is about the blue plants currently flowering in New Zealand. These are great plants to help out the bees over winter…so get planting :D!!!
Thanks Frank for providing us with this great post.
If anyone else is keen to do a guest post, then please get in touch. Take it away Frank…
Going Blue – Frank Schuurman
It is interesting how many of our winter flowering “Bee” plants are blue, to start with we have LAVENDER, many varieties, tall, spreading, small flowers, large flowers, originating in the Mediterranean area and used for their outstanding perfume. In the Provence region of the south of France is the perfume capital of the world “Grasse” in that area you can find hundreds of hectares of Lavender and “Miel de Lavande”. Lavender Honey is a lovely light fragrant fruity honey widely available.
We grow Marshwood and Sidonie, easily propagated in October-November, if pruned in January Lavender will flower from May till November.
The next Blue plants are Borage and Rosemary, both useful herbs and good honey producers, Rosemary originally came from Syria and is widely grown, Borage is also from southern Europe and can easily be grown from seed. Rosemary can also be easily propagated from cuttings.
Phacelia is another very useful crop, originating in the America’s and used as a green manure crop, sown in January it will flower in May-June providing you have a nice open and fertile ground.