The Bees Have Their Way

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery.”
~Emily Dickinson

After days on end, no weeks on end of rain and further rain at last there is a break in the wet weather. Blue skies, bright sun and a delayed spring have at last returned to Northern California–necessitating the need, finally, for actually considering the Mowing of the Lawn. I’d been contemplating this for some days, anxious to begin on the one hand, to bring about some normalcy and caring to the front yard, but unexpectedly hesitating, for there, in the middle was a rather large chunk of white clover about the birdbath, which the bees had discovered and I was wont to cut, frankly.

I deliberated as the ground dried out sufficiently to actually bring out the mower. And in that interim a teeny rebellious thought took root. What if I didn’t actually mow the clover area? What if I let it be? What if I mowed a respectable circle around it, or a square, and gave the bees, now in abundance, their due? Hadn’t they suffered more than I with the unduly late arrival of spring? Didn’t they need the pollen more than I needed the neat and respectable appearance of a lawn well kept? Well? I thought they did.

And, so, dear readers, when I at last did bring out my much loved Lawn Boy, my shy grin widened increasingly as I cut closer and closer to the clover, knowing full well what I was about to do. For who, anyway, would contemplate for a second charging into the beloved busy bees at their work with a motorized blade? What heartless creature? Not I. And so the bees had their way!

Creating the above I was literally laughing out loud. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lawn mowing ever as much. For sure not. And here is the happy result.

What can you do for a bee this week?

Bee Facts to Ponder

*The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

*About one-third of the total human diet comes directly or indirectly from insect-pollinated plants

*Bees fly an average of 13-15 mph. They can fly up to 20 mph.

*Honeybees visit about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.

Love and garden blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Book Notes: Many thanks to all who came to meet me at Baker Creek Seed Bank’s 2-year Anniversary Celebration in Petaluma on June 12th! It was such a joy to see you — and to meet new readers in person! This wonderfully rich gathering also afforded me the opportunity to finally meet in person Paul Wallace, the man directing the West Coast Baker Creek Seed Bank! He’s as lovely as I expected!

9 Responses to “The Bees Have Their Way”

  1. Love for your rebellious thinking! Lucky bees. And, those facts are quite the eye opener. Bees are so Amazing! Very sweet that you left them to it 🙂

    Love you,
    ~Antonia xoxo

  2. Thanks, Antonia. I’m going to have a big grin on my face all summer for making this decision. Maybe I will slip in some red clover seeds and watch that transpire! LOL! Love, Mom xoox

  3. Also, if you live in the glaciated midwest (don’t know about California) and you have a 20 to 40% clover stand in your yard, you never have to fertilize again. The glacial till has enough P & K to keep grass growing and the clover makes it’s own N in nodules on it’s roots. I keep interseeding my yard and the clover stands are increasing. On a sadder note, when the tornado went through the Ohio Agricultural Research and development Center in Wooster Ohio in Sept. 2010, the Bee storage barn was wiped out, along with over 100 years worth of equipment and the 2010 honey supply. We buy our honey from them but won’t be able to until thay are back up and running so are getting it from the Worthington Farmer’s Market at the moment. OARDC makes honey from all the research areas so we get Buckwheat, blueberry, basswood, wild flowers, etc., each honey different & wonderful in their own way. Basswood is my favorite for general use, buckwheat is so dark, rich, and wonderful on pancakes or in tea. We need our bees. Thanks for protecting your clover stand.
    Hugs, Julie

  4. Oh, I LOVE this, Julie! Thank you so much for letting me know. I will send out that little fact on Twitter! So sorry to hear of the tornado wipeout. I wondered about you guys in Ohio when that went through. Buckwheat honey sounds delicious! Kathryn xoxo

  5. Darling Kathryn, I also left my clover for weeks and weeks. We love the bees, and when I wrote the lawn care tips for Lowe’s, I called it laissez-faire lawn care. Don’t use chemicals and let the clover be. When I was a child, I made clover chains. An innocent activity to be sure. I love that you didn’t mow yours either.

    Glad you’re finally getting some sun.~~Dee

  6. Hi, Dee! Oh, you did?? I love that I’m not alone in this! Laissez-faire lawn care is a great name for it, and, of course, we should all move ever more in this direction. I wouldn’t mind if the whole front yard was red clover. It’s so pretty! Do children still make clover chains? I hope so! Kathryn xoxo

  7. “And when she mows the place,
    She leaves the clover standing, and the Queen Anne’s lace!”
    Portrait by a Neighbor by Edna St.Vincent Millay

  8. Hi, Alice, and welcome! This comment put a huge smile on my face. Very endearing and thank you so very very much for sharing. Lovely! Kathryn xoxo

  9. Hi, zz, and welcome! Give it a try and a stretch and see how it feels. You can always change your mind! 🙂 Kathryn xoxo

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