Monday, July 16, 2012

Of Pollinators and Bee Schools

 It's high summer at Baldwin's Nurseries, and everything is bursting out all over. Also, things are quite dry, so we could really use some rain, rain gods. The succulents in these old Crocs don't mind the heat or dry weather...
 And neither does Sedum 'Angelina', shown here preparing to flower. We like the flowers (as do the pollinators, but some gardeners feel they take from the beauty of the plant. What do you think?
 Speaking of dry weather, here's a terrific plant that does well in hot, dry weather, (once it's established, of course. This is Globe Thistle, (Echinops ritro), a steely-blue flower that attracts all kinds of pollinators, from bees to hummingbirds.
 Are you growing ferns in your gardens? Whyever not? They aren't just for shade or for wet areas--some of them are quite tolerant of sunny and even somewhat dry conditions, like this lady fern. They're also deer resistant, which is a plus in our wildlife laden world.
 The lavenders are great bee-magnets too. We have had a number of hummingbird moths around this summer, and we're hearing the same from other gardeners, too. We don't know why the apparent rise in population other than more gardens are being planted to be pollinator friendly.

 Grasses tend to be drought tolerant once they are established, and this particular one is unique in that it's one of the few pennesetums that is hardy in our region. 'Karley Rose' has dainty flower heads of a rosy pink, and they look striking planted out with something with similar colouring...
 ...Such as Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy.' This variety of Rudbeckia is sometimes short-lived as a perennial, but we do know a number of gardeners who have gotten it through the winters just fine. It's such a striking colour, we can't resist it!
The Echinaceas are coming on strong, and they are brilliant shots of colour from now til frost--providing you remember to deadhead them as the flowers fade. They're great bee and butterfly plants, too. 

We put a couple of beehives in here at the nursery this spring, and they've been fascinating to watch. We're learning more about the bees all the time, and we get questions from others who are interested in learning more as well. As a result, we're having a 'bee school' on Saturday, August 11 (rain date Aug 12) for a maximum of 20 people, here at the nursery. The cost is 25.00 and includes lunch, and the workshop runs from 10-2. Bring along a small jar to collect your own honey, and come find out all the 'buzz' about beekeeping. Contact us at the nursery for details or to reserve your spot.