A bit flattened from all the rain, but valiantly flowering on. I think if I had my time again I'd go for a less purple and more, yes, lavender shade, but I love the hedge anyway.
One thing I have noticed this year is the dreadful decrease in the number of bees on the lavender. Usually when I walk down the path I am surrounded by them. There must be less than half the usual amount this year.
Whether it's varroa mite, colony collapse disorder, our love of the mobile phone or something else, we need our bees. I have many of the plants that bees love: comfrey by the yard, rosemary, groves of foxgloves and of course the lavender, and if I haven't got bees, then who on earth has?
The British Beekeepers' Association is running a campaign to persuade the Government to fund an £8 million research programme. So far it has refused, despite the fact that without bees, we would have none of the crops that rely on bees for pollination: no apples, pears, strawberries, peas or beans, to say nothing of the £165 million that honey bees contribute annually to the agricultural economy.
I think the bee situation has now gone beyond the stage where we can feel we're doing something by planting flowers bees love. Serious research and action are needed now. The BBA has a letter you can download to send to your MP, and you can donate to the campaign via Paypal.
Save the bees.