What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Coryopteris, Deciduous shrub, Fall Blooming Plants, Naturalizing, Uncategorized

Blue Mist Spireas , or bluebeards, are stealing the show right now.         Bees, butterflies and other pollinators flock to this lightly fragrant but always showy deciduous shrub throughout its lengthy fall bloom period. Caryopteris is easy to grow in a full sun, well-drained location, but does not like wet feet!  It …

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Spring Blooming Bulbs For Pollinators

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Bulbs for pollinators, Native Bulbs, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

I have always planted bulbs like daffodils and tulips strictly for the joy they give me in the early spring. There is nothing like finding that first green leaf tip poking up through the bare ground or seeing a burst of bright yellow out the kitchen window when everything else is still either brown or …

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Patience Is the Key To A Successful Butterfly Garden

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Design, design process, Designing for Butterflies, Insects, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Uncategorized

One of my favorite things to do this summer is to quietly sit on my deck, watching dozens of butterflies floating through the yard enjoying the nectar buffet I’ve planted. This is the first year that I’ve had a steady stream of visitors and it feels like the time, effort and money I’ve put into …

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Invite An Insect: Ground Beetles

Posted by & filed under Beetles, Beneficial insects, Ground Beetles, Nocturnal Insects, Uncategorized

    Lacking the grace of a butterfly, the agility of a praying mantis or the industriousness of a bee, ground beetles are not included in the current list of trendy bugs. In fact, many people have no idea what they are losing when they deliberately squash one of these beneficial insects as it scurries …

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Invite An Insect: Green Lacewing

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Green lacewings, Uncategorized

A truly Jekyll and Hyde insect, the Green Lacewing is both a fierce predator as a larvae and a delicate beauty as an adult.   Adult green lacewings are slender insects with lacy-looking, transparent wings and round, golden-colored eyes. During the day, green lacewings are usually found resting in open spaces  around grassy or weedy …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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