Category Archives: Pollinators

Nourishing Native Pollinators

Nectar is not the only attraction in a well stocked garden, so don’t get bugged by bugs. Having a haze of insects hovering over your beds will just about guarantee you a host of birds (even hummers need protein as well as sweet desserts) as well as butterflies. Housing helps too; many grasses (especially stipas) are butterfly friendly host plants, while roses offer building material to leaf cutter bees along with their pollen and nectar. That’s a large part of why I tidy the garden in late winter and early spring rather than in autumn; putting off the work protect and supports native pollinators and when I finally get around to it, there’s a lot less to do, since so much as self-composted in place. Continue reading

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Filling A Tiny Garden

Though the old wood fence is sagging and rotting, I love the weathered look. Indeed, I’m considering lifting the panels off the ground and hanging them in sturdy frames like artwork, so they help screen our space from the neighbors but aren’t rotting from soil contact. One section is already gone; when I was discussing ideas with my clever house contractor (the uncle of my long-time garden guy), my neighbor popped her head over the fence and said her elderly mother loved to grow tomatoes but this section of fence blocked her light. In response, Jorge simply lifted the 8-foot panel away. Poof! We’ll replace that section with stockade wire and build out a bed to hold my three-way espalier apple tree, which I’ll train on the wire. Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Drainage, Garden Design, Health & Wellbeing, Pets & Pests In The Garden, Pollinators, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Tomatoes | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Bees Bring The Garden To Life

Print PDF Bee Loved Blossoms On Friday, I sat by a large flowering currant bush, just beginning to bloom. Last year, this shrub was alive with bumblebees. This year, I waited for a scarily long time before spotting even one. … Continue reading

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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