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-   -   Pollinator Week (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=49300)

bower June 17, 2019 07:29 PM

Pollinator Week
 
Seems like a thing to do!
[url]https://xerces.org/pollinator-week/[/url]
[url]https://xerces.org/pollinator-resource-center/[/url]


I am looking for more early flowers for my garden. Shrubs would be best but the moose really don't care, and the hares don't either. They chew down whatever I plant. I have loads of flowers from midseason to late but the early days are so sparse I am just letting dandelions grow in desperation. :no: What other flowers do you grow that will bloom early dandelion/daffodil time?

GrowingCoastal June 17, 2019 08:58 PM

Wallflowers bloom fairly early. They are over here, now. Rabbits would love these added to your garden!
Flowering Quince Japonica also bloom early. Pretty sure the moose would approve.

bower June 24, 2019 08:02 AM

Thanks, Coastal! :) I did a google for wallflowers and they look good! Onto the wish list for next year.

My friend brought some Sweet Woodruff from her farm which is blooming like mad already, too. Just hoping I can find the right spot for it, which failed when I tried to grow it years ago. I thought it was shade loving, but maybe not so much. Or in this cloudy climate, the shade lovers get what they need in "full sun". :roll:

GrowingCoastal June 24, 2019 11:06 AM

One of the first shrubs to bloom out here is the low 'sweet box' or Himalayan Box. It has a lovely light scent and only grows to about 2 ft. How about something like St John's Wort?

bower June 24, 2019 03:01 PM

The Wort we do have around, but it's not an early bloomer here. Actually as of today (warm) it looks like a bunch of normally later things are about to bolt anyway. Not surprising with the crazy cold weather.

I'm not sure if boxwood is hardy enough for us. Florists do love it... Of course as with other shrubbery, it it grows two feet tall that'll be 2 inches after the rabbits find out! :lol:

Labradors2 June 24, 2019 09:26 PM

The first (non-bulb) flowers to bloom in my garden are the Pulmonaria. I don't have a lot of shade, but I like them so much that I grow them in the sun and they look great in the spring. (Not so great in the heat of summer unless I remember to keep them watered.) I love the look of the leaves, even when they are not in flower.

Pasque flowers are beautiful. They come in mauve and white, and the seed pods are interesting (like those of clematis).
Primroses are obvious.
Bleeding Hearts are gorgeous, but they need shade too. I have some Dutchmen's Britches, much shorter, and related to Bleeding Hearts. They are so sweet, but ephemeral.
Tiarella is pretty and the leaves look good when they are not in flower.
Forget-me-nots are great, and self-seed with abandon (which is a good thing, as they are easy to pull up if the appear in the wrong place.)
There are some beautiful Hellebores out there too (another shade-loving plant).
I really, really LOVE Spurge. They form beautiful clumps and the leaves turn from green to yellow.

Azaleas are lovely, but the deer like them too much.
Camelias are gorgeous. Several neighbors have them and I enjoyed seeing them in bloom this spring.

Come to think of it, I really love my spring garden :).

Linda

Labradors2 June 24, 2019 09:30 PM

I forgot about Columbines! Can save some seeds, as well as Forget-me-not seeds, and put them in the Cdn Seed Swap with your name on if you like ;).

Linda

bower June 25, 2019 05:52 AM

Thanks Linda!

I have one Pulmonaria plant and I want more more more!! :love: The bees really love them and they just keep on blooming. But they don't spread very readily. I wondered if I could take cuttings and root them? Or should I pull down the outer branches and cover with compost to get them to root? If I could get a dozen of these going and placed around the garden, I would be satisfied of doing my bee-best. :)
I have Pasque flowers too. They often bloom earlier than the bees are out, but this year they are still going. But bees don't seem to be very interested in them. :( I wonder if they are short of nectar, which the queens really need in the early spring.
Columbine is not early here. They must like the heat.

Forgetmenots are a weed here, thanks! I do like them but a few years ago I realized they seriously host the mildew that strikes us in humid July weather and which is a tomato killer. :evil: They just started to flower and I've left them to see if bees do care for them or not, but I expect them to be foul with mildew in a week or two.

I have a few cowslips. I have planted oodles of primroses over the years but none have survived excepting the cowslips (which I should also make more of).

I will look up the others you mentioned - wouldn't it be great if there was a shrub the moose and rabbits don't eat. :roll: Forsythia is another one that is really gorgeous and seems hardy in my area.
Usually by midsummer day, I have chives, cornflowers and bluebells in flower, but these are being late this year. I think my shallot plot is going to flower at the same time as chives, and really looking forward to see them. :D Mrs. Bee has been trying the buds already.
I seeded more "Hardy Evergreen" onion this year, because they survive quite well as a perennial and flower fairly early.

GrowingCoastal June 25, 2019 01:20 PM

What about Daphne? Some, besides the winter daphne, bloom in winter or early spring. It is bee friendly and the critters won't lunch on them. In your moose/rabbit situation it is hard to recommend many plants.


I was mindblown to see that some flowers are toxic to some bees!? Wouldn't the bees be able to sort that out and not use the ones that are bad for them?
There's a list toward the bottom of this page that lists a few of those harmful plants.
[url]https://www.countryfile.com/wildlife/insects-invertebrates/bee-guide-how-to-identify-where-to-spot-and-how-to-attract-bees-to-your-garden/[/url]

and another list on this page with proper names listed.
[url]https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/Plants-Toxic-for-Bees.html[/url]

PS
Wallflowers are biennial. Start some now for next year.

Labradors2 June 25, 2019 01:47 PM

Bower, Pulmonaria should self-seed. I'll see if I can capture some seeds for you. I've never tried before. It's not a shrub, so unfortunately, you cannot make more by anchoring a stem to the ground :(

I just bought a Cranesbill called "Biokovo" (plant of the year in 2015). It has pale pink flowers and is deer and rabbit resistant. It begins blooming in late spring, but I just thought I would mention it.

So sorry to hear about your mouldy Forget-me-nots and your non-returning primroses, but you are lucky to have cowslips :).

Forsythia is one of the earliest shrubs, and Daphne, as Growingcoastal mentioned, is a really lovely, early, fragrant shrub which bees will love! I grew the Carol Mackie cultivar twice and both times the main stem got enormous, cracked, and the plant died after a few years. Even so, it is well worth growing.

Chives are lovely! I don't think one can have too many in a garden :).

Linda

bower June 25, 2019 02:15 PM

Well, I must have a look for Daphne! :)
Thanks for the links, Coastal - I only recently heard about rhododendron being toxic, also lupins I read to reduce bees reproduction? Or something like it.:surprised: I don't have either but they are in the area so every roadside has lupins, neighbor has rhododendron. Another good reason to block the garden with alternatives which, as you pointed out, a bee should know if the flowers are good or not. They might forage the wrong kinds if there's nothing else though!
That "Sheep Laurel" or Lambkill as we call it is to hate! Poisonous to animals and humans as well as bees. It's a 'native' species here but is also really invasive. If I see any, I tear it out. :roll:
Chives, bolted shallots, and "Hardy Evergreen" onion are just opening their spathes today. The shallot buds are all colors, can't wait to see the flowers. :love::cute:

GrowingCoastal June 25, 2019 09:18 PM

Shallot flowers sound interesting. I leave a few elephant garlic to bloom for the bees, other pollinators and humming birds. Aliums draw a variety of fliers to them when they bloom. The flat garlic chives also bring a crowd to their white clusters of flowers.

Another early blooming shrub that may be hardy enough is witch hazel.

When my one large rhodo is in bloom it is full of bee music day after day until the flowers drop and then they move on to the rambling rose. There are no dead bees. We have so many rhodos on the coast here, even wild ones, that I think the bees have figured it out or already died if susceptible.

I have noticed that the bees here like toad flax more than they like the African basil. Toad flax can be invasive but it can also be controlled without too much trouble. Hummingbirds also like the toad flax.

bower June 26, 2019 08:12 AM

I have definitely noticed bee action on the 'Hardy Evergreen' flowers and they love the chives too, so flowering alliums seem to be a thumbs up.:) The shallots look like they may produce every shade from white through to purple. The buds are very ornamental and quite a range of sizes. The clumps are all different heights as well from 25 to 55 cm tall. The little short ones may not make much in the way of shallots, but could be a great flower for the front of the border. :yes: Mind you, they are bolting because of our hideous weather. :lol: Might not work in a more temperate place?



I do have some small witchhazels! They've survived being bitten down many times, but not large enough to flower still.



I agree that bees like other creatures had to know what they can or can't eat. I am always surprised at the good sense animals show, in knowing exactly what medicine they want from my garden. Their sense of what they needed is as good as ours, maybe better!

Labradors2 June 26, 2019 04:08 PM

I LOVE toadflax. It's SO sweet and pretty. I must et some of that going here in a wild area. There is also a blue/mauve one that looks gorgeous grown en masse. We live near a defunct golf course, and the first year it was covered in it. Interestingly, a very small percentage of it came up white...…

Linda

sjamesNorway June 28, 2019 10:37 AM

[IMG]https://www.tine.no/merkevarer/sunniva/artikler/hvordan-henge-opp-biehuset/_/image/a3d6ff17-4339-47da-bdd9-6ada3c1ce8bf:195e8704b287d73e723877f9d87b7ae94e58c43b/block-160-90/Biehus%20i%20tre[/IMG]


I have a bee hotel ready to hang up. All you need is a block of wood. Drill 4-7 millimeter holes 8-10 centimeters deep. Hang it in a sunny spot. I stopped using pesticides on our raspberry bushes a couple of years ago, and I leave more flowering weeds around the house than before. They're very fond of foxgloves, especially bumblebees. We have lots of perennial flowers around the house, and a bush (don't know what it is) that sounds like a high tension wires when it's flowering. We should all be doing our bit.


Steve

GrowingCoastal June 28, 2019 10:48 AM

[QUOTE=Labradors2;739786]I LOVE toadflax. It's SO sweet and pretty. I must et some of that going here in a wild area. There is also a blue/mauve one that looks gorgeous grown en masse. We live near a defunct golf course, and the first year it was covered in it. Interestingly, a very small percentage of it came up white...…

Linda[/QUOTE]

Mine keep cycling from purple to pink. both are loved by bees. The campanula does the same, changing its shades of blue from one generation to the next.

Labradors2 June 28, 2019 11:25 AM

That's interesting that they change colour! Have you seen the yellow one? Either it's shorter, or it usually grows amongst the weeds that keep it in check.

Linda

GrowingCoastal June 28, 2019 12:42 PM

Yellow? Nope. Many (?) flowers do the purple > pink> white> blue again cycle. Larkspur is another one.

Labradors2 June 28, 2019 01:05 PM

Interesting, I didn't know that. The only plant I know of that changes colour is the hydrangea that can be pink or blue. (I've heard that people pee on them to turn them blue :) ).

Linda

bower June 28, 2019 05:04 PM

Yellow toadflax is the one we call "Butter and Eggs". I've seen the blue but not as commonly - they are different species/ not as closely related as the name would suggest.
Very pretty! But the yellow is not something you want in the garden bed. They spread by roots which are like a thin elastic - very hard to weed without snapping em, and they come back from a wee bit of root and choke their companions. :shock::lol:

Labradors2 June 28, 2019 05:49 PM

That's the one Bower, Butter and Eggs. I didn't know that they were so difficult to pull! Guess I didn't really mind that they came back as they were so pretty.

The purple one is like a mini Snapdragon.

L.

bower June 28, 2019 08:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
There's some kind of pretty flower in the ditch which I keep seeing on the drive between my place and Mom's. Almost tempted to stop and take a handful of roots, but then I saw bamboo in the ditch as well. :shock::lol: I'm about done with admiring the weeds as a few things are bolting early - red clover for one which bee will be very happy about. I've been sneaking around stealing the dandelion clocks and have put about 2 5 gallon buckets of them in the compost. :roll: There will be no shortage next year nonetheless.
The shallot flowers are starting to open - what a patch of em I've got. I'm hoping for an apology from Mrs. Bee for the scolding she gave me. "You make me nervous" indeed! :P

GrowingCoastal June 28, 2019 10:31 PM

A lot like chives before they open.

Labradors2 June 29, 2019 07:27 AM

They do look like chives. Gorgeous!

Linda

Labradors2 June 29, 2019 08:42 AM

[QUOTE=sjamesNorway;739940][IMG]https://www.tine.no/merkevarer/sunniva/artikler/hvordan-henge-opp-biehuset/_/image/a3d6ff17-4339-47da-bdd9-6ada3c1ce8bf:195e8704b287d73e723877f9d87b7ae94e58c43b/block-160-90/Biehus%20i%20tre[/IMG]


I have a bee hotel ready to hang up. All you need is a block of wood. Drill 4-7 millimeter holes 8-10 centimeters deep. Hang it in a sunny spot. I stopped using pesticides on our raspberry bushes a couple of years ago, and I leave more flowering weeds around the house than before. They're very fond of foxgloves, especially bumblebees. We have lots of perennial flowers around the house, and a bush (don't know what it is) that sounds like a high tension wires when it's flowering. We should all be doing our bit.


Steve[/QUOTE]

Steve, I just read your post and want to make a bee house too. Apparently, it's really important to clean them out every year so that they don't harbor insects/disease, but I'm sure you know about that. I saw one recently, where the lady had collected Daylily stems and placed them inside a tub which lay on it's side. Easy enough to do and renew every year :).

I'd love to hear more about that flowering shrub with the high tension wire noise when it flowers, although I probably wouldn't be able to hear it as my hearing is going :(.

Linda

Nan_PA_6b July 4, 2019 09:44 AM

I can't say enough good things about hellebores. First to bloom, a little before daffs and forsythia. They can grow in pure deep shade or sun, mine spread slowly, and the blooms last for months. Mine start in March and are still going. Probably almost over with by now.) They're evergreen, too. They drop leaves in March and the flowers pop up and the leaves grow right back.

sjamesNorway July 5, 2019 04:50 AM

[QUOTE=Labradors2;740012]Steve, I just read your post and want to make a bee house too. Apparently, it's really important to clean them out every year so that they don't harbor insects/disease, but I'm sure you know about that. I saw one recently, where the lady had collected Daylily stems and placed them inside a tub which lay on it's side. Easy enough to do and renew every year :).

I'd love to hear more about that flowering shrub with the high tension wire noise when it flowers, although I probably wouldn't be able to hear it as my hearing is going :(.

Linda[/QUOTE]
I'll get back to you with photos of the bush, which I haven't been able to find. It's 3+ meters tall, and similar to privet, but the mature leaves are broader than any photo I've found. The flowers are white and tiny, and are mostly hidden by the leaves.


Steve

Tracydr July 5, 2019 06:44 AM

[QUOTE=Labradors2;739614]I forgot about Columbines! Can save some seeds, as well as Forget-me-not seeds, and put them in the Cdn Seed Swap with your name on if you like ;).

Linda[/QUOTE]

What’s the best way to start Columbine seeds and what time of year? How about lupine and augastache,anise hyssop?
I’m always nervous about starting perennials because I don’t know how,so then I end up letting the seed just sit in my seed collections.
I’ve found elephant garlic is great for an early pollinator attractor and very pretty. Here in the south our camellias of different varieties bloom all winter long.
Artichokes and basil are also great,along with lilac. I assume cardoon would be too so will be trying some this year just for the flowers.
I’d really like to start building a thick border of flowering herbs,annuals and perennials in my new fruit garden. (Fruit trees,berries and melons will be planted)

PhilaGardener July 5, 2019 07:09 AM

Unless they are annuals, start them sooner than later - biennials get established in year 1 and then start to bloom in year 2. If you are concerned about doing the wrong thing, just plant some, but not all, of your seed, (or try different approaches) but if you aren't storing them in a freezer they are just losing viability in storage. Google each species to see if it requires cold (vernalization), abrasion (scarification) or other special treatments, but I recommend looking into winter sowing as a way to wake these up and get them going!



[url]https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/01/23/winter-sowing-how-i-get-a-jump-start-on-my-summer-flower-garden/[/url]

bower July 8, 2019 03:31 PM

Mission accomplished with the shallot patch! Fully blooming in the warm sunshine today (and smelling faintly of curry! :surprised:) I counted eight bumblebee queens on them at once this afternoon! :dance:There's a big patch of red clover on the other side of the garden which is being worked hard as well in the recent days. I don't often see that many queens here (and no wonder since there's little to sustain them in their spring hustle)... So I'm expecting once the worker broods are out (and the bulk of the flowers as well) that the garden will be seriously carpeted with bumbles. :yes:


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