When Europeans first sailed across the ocean they started a revolution that would change the botanical nature of North America. In their cargo holds colonists brought seeds from a pharmaceutical cornucopia of plants that would mend and heal and over time many of these plants escaped from the domestic gardens into the wild. Some of these powerful medicinals, such as dandelion and plantain, would become … Continue reading The Revolutionary Pollinator Garden
Pollinators are celebrating at a revitalized garden at College Hill Park in Poughkeepsie, NY. The park is situated in the center of an urban landscape and on top the highest point in the city a most curious Parthenon like structure, known at the “Shelter”, stands with grand views of the Hudson Valley. Down the hill from this structure built in 1935 is the Clarence Lown … Continue reading Pollinators are Celebrating at College Hill Park
The foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) is an early summer favorite of the fast flying and long tongued digger bees (Anthophora spp.). This bee is easier to hear than to see, producing a loud buzzing noise as it zigs, zags and zips among the white blossoms. The best chance to get a good glimpse of this honey bee sized insect is when they pause to hover … Continue reading Digger Bees and the Beardtongue
The perfect lawn is the imperfect lawn. The perfect lawn is rugged and natural in appearance and to the untrained eye, aka the average homeowner, would be condemned as the eyesore of the neighborhood. It is a lawn that defies cultural norms but can be aesthetically pleasing. It has wild edges where shrubs and wildflowers seduce pollinators with sweet smells and bright colors. Unkempt corners, … Continue reading The Perfect Lawn for Pollinators
Nothing says summer like the first juicy sweet strawberry of the season. Strawberries self pollinate and are not dependent on pollinators for fertilization. BUT early summer pollinators, most notably bees ensure the berry will attain perfection. The fruit of insect pollinated flowers are not only larger and have less deformities but also firmer, with a shelf life lasting an additional 12 hours. These few … Continue reading Bees Help Strawberries Reach Their Potential
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?
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
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
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?