When is Native…Invasive?

The Cup Plant in the Adirondacks: In recent years, a new flower has appeared growing along the east branch of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks. It is a tall (8 to 10’) and beautiful member of the aster family and bees love it! The flower is known as Cup Plant or Indian Cup (Silphium perfoliatum) and is native to North America but not the … Continue reading When is Native…Invasive?

A Golf Course for Pollinators

Bethpage State Park: A Model for the Future Bethpage State Park, located on Long Island, is best known for its five world-class golf courses, including the world renowned Black Course which was the site of the U.S. Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. These 1,500 acres of open space is an island oasis surrounded by a densely populated suburban community. This landscape is an ideal … Continue reading A Golf Course for Pollinators

Fields of Lupine

A field of blue lupine in full bloom is a sight to behold!  The Albany Pine Bush in the shadow of Albany, New York’s Capital City, is a unique pitch pine ecosystem where the blue lupine thrives in the sandy soils and open meadows of the preserve.  This fire adapted ecosystem thrives on disturbance that keeps this forest in early successional stages. The blue lupine … Continue reading Fields of Lupine

Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators

Do beavers play a role in providing habitat to native pollinators?  Today, pollinators benefit from roadside flowers, old farm meadows, hedgerows, forest edges and gardens, however, these are all by-products of modern human civilization.  What about prior to European colonization of North America when nearly 99% of New York and the Northeast was covered in forest.  Where in this dense forest did the 477 native … Continue reading Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators

The Spring Bees of Peach Hill

Spring is a marvelous time to explore an old apple orchard.  Walking under the white blossomed branches it is reassuring to know that the flowers are abuzz with busy pollinators, ensuring a bountiful fall harvest of sumptous red fruit.  Peach Hill Park is one such abandoned apple orchard in the Town of Poughkeepsie, containing 10,000 trees.  The park encompasses 159 acres and is also is … Continue reading The Spring Bees of Peach Hill

Are We Poisoning our Pollinators with Good Intentions?

Buy Plants that are Chemical Free and Pollinator Friendly!  What can backyard gardeners do to help our native bees and pollinators? The single most important step aside from not using insecticides or herbicides is to buy neonicotinoid-free flowers and vegetable plants from local nurseries or from a reputable seed provider. Do not buy plants or seeds from the “Big Box Stores” you may be poisoning … Continue reading Are We Poisoning our Pollinators with Good Intentions?

A Bee’s Eye View of the Garden

Planning a Garden With Bees in Mind – The sweeping vista of flower filled meadows is a sight to behold yet aesthetics are a side effect to the flowers true intent. Flowers are not seeking human admiration but seeking the attention of pollinators. Through visual cues, the flowers are shouting… “Pick me! Pick me!”   A closer look reveals that over evolutionary time flowers have gone … Continue reading A Bee’s Eye View of the Garden

Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Anne Odell Butterfly Garden – Fahnestock State Park – In a recent venture to The Hubbard Lodge in Fahnestock State Park, I explored a butterfly garden flourishing with beautiful native flowering plants. The garden was alive with tired butterflies sporting tattered wings, queen bumblebees fattening up for a long winter hibernation, and a diversity of solitary bees finishing up their nests.  This garden named the … Continue reading Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Formal Garden of the Vanderbilts

At the F.W. Vanderbilt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, the restored formal garden is a jewel in its own right, while also a haven for a wide diversity of pollinators. The garden was restored in 1984 by a group of volunteers with permission from the National Park Service.  Today, the gardens are still maintained by volunteers of the Frederick W. Vanderbilt Garden Association, Inc., … Continue reading Formal Garden of the Vanderbilts