An Insect Heaven – The Privet Hedge
Here in the UK, the privet hedge is often tightly pruned and not encouraged to flower. What a mistake! It is one of the most beautiful flowering shrubs I have come across.
Aside from the scent, which is delightful and drifts across the garden and into my nostrils, it is an amazing place to find a huge range of insects, from the tiniest flies through to the bees and butterflies. Unfortunately my snapshot camera is not good enough to capture them, but believe me, they are there, and they are in their hundreds.
The tortoiseshell butterflies are the most common, with the Red Admiral a close second. I have also seen the Privet Hawk-Moth in the garden, which is not surprising since the caterpillars feed on the leaves. As for the bees, I have, of course, seen honey bees (since I have multiple hives), and an assortment of bumblebees, from the very small to the large and furry. I’d love to know all the species I’ve spotted, but as yet, I haven’t had a chance to get my books out. However, I think I have seen the tree bumblebee, with a ginger head and white pointed tail. It’s an exciting find since it is an invasive species, arriving to the UK just 13 years ago. It’ll be great to have confirmation.
So, I’m going to get back out there, books in hand, and see what I can identify. It’s the first year it has flowered, all 100 hundred metres of it, and I look forward to for many more years.
Here’s to a beautiful and often underrated plant, The Privet.