Tag Archives: Flower pot

Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

— Last year, I posted this story too late to make a difference, so I promised myself I’d publish it soon enough to be of use this year! Start collecting your dryer lint! A big thank you to Thomas Winther for his links below…

My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Two years ago, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types

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Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

Bumblebee, Bombus pratorum. Source- Wikimedia Commons

Note: Folks, I heard from the author of two of the links below and he informed me that queen bumblebees nest in March and April (see the comments section below). I am glad I reposted this story but will have to wait till then to set my nest out. I can still work on it now to get it ready for next spring, though. — Jan

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My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Last year, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types

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Tilted Clay Pot Garden

We had a rare bit of sun today, so I sped outside and cleared pots and beds in preparation for planting. After cleaning up some perennials and amending the soil in the raised bed, I planted some early red potatoes, Norlands. Will have to do more tomorrow while the weather’s clear. That’s the thing about living in a temperate rain forest…. We live in cottage on a hill and 90% of our land is in its natural state, understory…mainly salmonberry bushes, ferns, and trees. I have a small growing area and no lawn, so I rely on containers quite a bit. If you are also short on gardening space, consider going vertical with a tilted clay pot garden, also known as a tipsy garden. This clever way of creating a garden with a small footprint is made of angled flower pots. Today, I decided I am going to be making one and am passing on the directions in case you’d like one, too. Here’s a lovely example of a finished tipsy garden. I’ll post a photo of mine later in the season.

Before you begin,  choose where you want your tilted garden to be located. Determine the amount of sunlight you will need and plan accordingly. To make your garden here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Four terra-cotta pots (same size or graduated)
  • Potting soil
  • 65″ length of rebar
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Plants

Your piece of rebar must be long enough to drive it into the ground two feet with plenty left over to thread through the pots. So, the number of pots you need will be determined by the length of rebar. Take a good look at this photo before you begin.

  • Place your pots in order according to size, if graduated.
  • Drive rebar into the ground with hammer or mallet.
  • Thread each pot onto the rebar through the hole in the bottom of each pot.
  • Except for the bottom one, which remains upright, tilt the pots in opposite directions, to distribute weight, resting the bottom of each on the pot edge below it.
  • Fill with moistened soil, starting with the bottom pot, leaving an inch and a half space at the top of each pot.
  • Tamp down soil.
  • Plant and fertilize with your choice of flowers, strawberries, container veggies, herbs, or succulents.

Note: If you live in an area with freezing winters, you will have to dismantle and store the pots each year to prevent cracking. The alternative is to used pots that are glazed inside and out. Good luck!

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