The wildlife in our tiny new Paris garden is an endless source of distraction. This morning I’d just refilled the bird feeder – emptied by a party of sparrows yesterday – when a jay turned up to inspect it. The large bird hopped along the branch towards the sparrow-sized feeder, put its head on one side to peer closer and then retreated to the next branch of the cherry tree to consider the matter, burbling quietly to itself. The verdict seemed to be ‘interesting but not accessible’ and the jay flew off grumbling.
As I went to shut the garden door – heading out on a dull but necessary errand – I noticed that the newly planted Gaura was buzzing with bees. The clichéd phrase is apt because the insects were buzzing quickly from flower to flower, rarely pausing for more than a second. It seems the bees only take one sip of nectar from each flower; maybe they can’t reach any more. I’ve read that only long-tongued bumble bees and moths can reach right in to the narrow tubes of these flowers.
The spidery Gaura flowers look delicate but in fact the individual flowers are solidly attached to the inflorescence with two reflexed petals braced against the stem, offering a firm landing place to a bumble bee or sizeable moth. I’ll be looking out for new arrivals.