All Ireland Pollinator Plan.
We at Cape Clear B&B/ Ard na Gaoithe are delighted to announce our support of the All- Ireland Pollinator plan. We think we are the first B&B in Ireland to do so, the first of many hopefully. We are not eco- warriors, but we just feel that because we have a garden, we can use it to help nature. We have been working over the last few years to find a balance between a pretty garden and offering a home to pollinators.(We now have a hive of native black bees; not in B&B garden in case guests have allergic reactions to them. We have started a coppice as well) The balance is still a work in progress as we learn more about planting for pollinators. Garden centers and seed companies make it clear which plants are best to choose for pollinators so really the job of choosing plants is easy, allowing the grass to grow a bit longer is harder! Slowly we have changed the type of flowers we grow, moving toward lowering the number of double varieties and increasing single varieties. We make a conscious decision to choose plants that are most attractive to pollinators and birds such as borage, cosmos, snap dragons, nicotiana, sunflowers, calendula, honesty, teasels ect.(though there are still a few flowers that we grow just because we like them) We don’t use any chemicals in the garden and plants seems to grow just fine without them. We feed the soil with homemade compost and seaweed which helps the plants to thrive. The grass is longer, daisies and dandelions live happily in the front garden as well as a few thistles and nettles here and there. Weeds don’t upset us or take away from the pretty flowers and the benefits to nature are worth it. Gardening with pollinators in mind has simply added another layer of interest to the hobby. Learning more about how to enhance life in the garden is rewarding in so many ways. Perhaps we are at the stage where we can no longer just invent out way out of problems. As one of the banners on the young people’s climate strike proclaimed, ‘If climate can change- so can we’. We can do our bit. We are fortunate to live on Cape Clear Island, a place of stunning beauty teeming with bird and marine life, we have a garden and so we can change what and how we grow things to be more nature friendly. By allowing nature to regulate the populations of ‘pests’ and there is no need for chemicals, we have found that we lose a few things to slugs and snails but its hardly the end of the world. Let’s not allow the desire for perfection to become the enemy of the good! Why not grow a pollinator friendly plant today?
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