Another guest post from Debbie cousins about local wildlife:
Many Newtown gardens are currently bursting into life in a purple haze, thanks to this common garden plant. It is a type of Campanula or Bellflower and although it isn’t a native plant, bees and other insects love it. Recently I was tidying up my front garden and two people stopped to remark on this plant: one said how lovely the purple plant was, while a neighbour asked if it was a weed or whether it was meant to be there? There are a number of definitions for what a weed is, but the most popular is probably ‘A wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’. So it’s not a ‘weed’ as it isn’t a wild plant, but rather it is a cultivated plant that can get a bit rampant!
Due to its open flower structure, it is popular with pollinating insects such as bees and I recently photographed a female red-tailed bumblebee busy collecting pollen from the flowers. She seemed to be weighed down by the pollen baskets on her hind legs that she uses to collect the pollen.
So while this Bellflower might need keeping under control so that it doesn’t swamp all of your other plants, please retain some of the cheerful blooms for people and wildlife to enjoy!