Monday, 10 September 2007

Snapdragons

Chris Baines talks about gardens being 'service stations' for wildlife: not able to to sustain the entire life cycle of visitors, but there to help them fill up as they move along the motorway of life. There are many plants and flowers that help wildlife, but what better at this time of year than snapdragons (or antirrhinums)? Bumble bees in particular love to bury themselves inside the flowers drinking deeply on the nectar hidden inside the snapping petals.
Lemon, white, pink or burgundy, they seed freely and for us are used as companion plants in the bean bed. They are members of the legume family and so have the added benefit of fixing nitrogen into the soil through their roots.
Who can resist the childish pleasure of squeezing them so that their mouths snap open?

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