Invite An Insect: Bumblebees

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Bumblebee, Insects, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

Fast moving, noisy, yellow and black bumblebees are part of our native insect population. Here in North America there are currently 46 species of bumblebees, while worldwide there are 250 species. Because of habitat fragmentation and loss, pesticide use and diseases, the number of bumblebees is declining.     Although they are large and look …

Read More »

Gifts from the Cutting Garden

Posted by & filed under Children and Nature, Cutting Garden, Garden Design, Gardens, Uncategorized

The crocus, grape hyacinths, daffodils and tulips all bloomed at once this year, turning my  yard into an absolute work of art. That is, until the grandkids decided they needed to pick bunches of pretty flowers for their mothers. Two and three-year-olds do not have a great grasp of how to cut flowers for a …

Read More »

Invite An Insect: Fireflies (Lampyridae)

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Fireflies, Lightning Bugs, Nocturnal Insects, Uncategorized

    Those of us who are “of an age” have fond memories of quietly witnessing, or perhaps breathlessly chasing, the glow of hundreds of fireflies as they flitted across the grass on a summer’s evening. It was pure magic. Unfortunately, because of habitat destruction, overuse of pesticides and light pollution, this magic is disappearing …

Read More »

Invite An Insect: Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Spiders, Uncategorized

    Neither an insect nor a “true bug,” this fierce-looking arachnid is a common visitor to the garden. Black and yellow garden spiders (also known as  Corn Spiders or Zipper Spiders) and their impressive orb webs (up to two feet in diameter), are typically found in sheltered, sunny places near houses and in gardens …

Read More »

Add Fragrance To Your Garden

Posted by & filed under Fragrance Garden, Heirloom gardens, Heirloom plants, Night blooming plants, Old-fashioned flowers, Uncategorized

As I mentioned last week, I am determined to recreate an heirloom flower bed. Not finding heirloom seeds in stores here, I spent much of the past week browsing through and making lists of potential purchases from online heirloom seed company catalogs. Although my initial sheet had over thirty varieties on it, I was able …

Read More »

Invite An Insect: Lady Beetles

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Insects, Lady beetles, Uncategorized

  An insatiable predator, the familiar lady bug is one of the gardeners best friends. In it’s relatively short lifetime, a single lady bug can devour up to 5,000 aphids. Throughout their life cycles the over 400 species of lady bugs here in the United States also voraciously consume whiteflies, scale insects and mealybugs. Lady …

Read More »

Remembering Grandma’s Garden

Posted by & filed under Drought tolerant plants, Grandma's garden, Heirloom gardens, Heirloom plants, Night blooming plants, Old-fashioned flowers, Shade-loving plants, Spring blooming plants, Uncategorized

  My husband and I just returned from a ten day vacation in Virginia. The weather was perfect the whole time we traveled; spring was emerging and everywhere we visited the surroundings were bursting with color.     Since we both love American history almost as much as we love gardening, both Monticello and Colonial …

Read More »