Mon 26 May 2008
Posted by Brittany
A slight breeze will make you turn your head. What is that wonderful smell?
I would have guessed it was a row of Lilacs in full bloom. But the goat ate ours. Besides the lilac season is fading fast.
I diligently searched the hedge row for the savory scent, with no luck. Only when I picked one of the ubiquitous white clovers on my way back to the humble hut did I discover the source of the sweet scent.
We planted Ladino Clover last year in hopes of curbing some of our erosion problems. Now it is in full bloom and the benefits are well beyond erosion control.
1. As I’ve already mentioned, it smells lovely.
2. It is low growing. Requiring less/no mowing. (Why have a lawn, when you can have a front yard full of perfume that feels nice to bare feet and saves a few hours with the noisy lawn mower?!)
3. As a legume, it fixes nitrogen, making this nutrient available for other plants.
4. The bees love it.
We split out bee hives a couple weeks ago and they are looking strong. Several factors, including good weather, might be involved, but I think the clover is playing a part. Instead of hunting through soybean, corn fields and cow pasture for a few morsels, they have ready nectar and pollen at their doorstep. Now I understand why people plant flowers for bees. I can imagine fields planted in such a diversity of flowering plants that keep the bees happy all season.
And for some a scientific review of Ladino clover and honey bees see: http://www.beeculture.com/content/pollination_handbook/white.html
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