I have never seen so many bees and butterflies in my veg patch. It’s brilliant!! In the mornings, the garden really seems alive, with bees popping in and out of the courgette flowers and buzzing around the herbs, and I see all sorts of different butterflies flitting about.
This is undoubtedly due in part to the weather, but I think the companion plants that I have in the veg patch this year have also made a big difference. It’s a very colourful, attractive looking plot, with nasturtiums, calendula and violas planted in and around the veggies. I’ve also let most of the herbs just do their thing, so they are all flowering too at the moment as are the flowers on the squashes and beans.
When I set out to use companion plants this season, I was largely thinking about controlling pests and protecting brassicas from cabbage whites. I’m not really sure whether or not it’s made a huge difference – the cabbage whites are merrily flitting around the brassicas (they’re netted anyway, so are largely free from caterpillar damage), I’ve had problems with flea beetles and a few other unidentified pests – but I’m definitely convinced that the companion plants are bringing more pollinators into the garden for me. And if they’re bringing in more bees and butterflies, then they are probably bringing in more insects as well, like ladybirds, which can only be a good thing.