Category Archives: Easy Care Perennials

When Bees Ignore Blossoms

As a rule, bees will snub flowers that are low in nectar and pollen. Even favored blossoms like cherries can be lacking and the bees are evidently able to detect (nobody quite knows how) blossoms with low levels of these important substances. Sometimes this is because other bees have already been there and done that. There is some evidence that foraging bees leave behind a scent marker that other bees can sense. A study done at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California found that when bees approached flowers, then flew away without foraging, the rejected blossoms had about half the nectar of an average bloom.

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Posted in composting, Early Crops, Easy Care Perennials, Growing Berry Crops, Pollinators, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Weed Control | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Winding The Spirit Spiral

This particular garden had winding beds between the path loops, filled with herbs and traditional medicinal plants. The gravel path was just wide enough for one and the beds were about the same width. With a few modifications, the same modest amount of space (about 12 x 20 feet) can hold a labyrinth, a pattern of sacred geometry that was often incorporated into the stone flagged floors of medieval European cathedrals. Unlike mazes, which seek to deceive with blind alleys and false turns, labyrinths use a single continuous path that winds in usually circular patterns into the heart of a space and back out again without retracing or crossing itself. You can’t get lost or led astray. You always find your way to the very core of whatever has you walking and you always come safely home. Continue reading

Posted in Drainage, Easy Care Perennials, Hardy Herbs, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Milkweed Magic

The warm season butterflies live for just a few weeks, long enough to lay more eggs. The spring cycle repeats twice more before the autumn-born fourth generation appear in September and October. These are the travelers, living for as much as 8 months and voyaging as far as Mexico. This still seems little short of magical to me. Years ago, my family spent summers on Cape Cod in an old artist’s studio. The windows were warping with age, and mine couldn’t quite shut, so a trumpet vine had wiggled its way into my bedroom. There was a chrysalis on one wandering arm and I was blessed and fascinated to watch a Monarch emerge in a matter of seconds from its little case. It flexed its wings, which expanded in the sunlight, then flew off through the open window, sparking a lifelong delight in the natural world. Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Garden Prep, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Winterizing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Hardy, Handsome Houseplants

Print PDFBreathing With Plants I’ve been living in an upstairs apartment this winter and I’m very clear not that my next home will be at ground level. The apartment is lovely and well appointed, with great light and lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Gardening With Children, Houseplants | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments