Great Companions

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Birds, Butterfly Gardens, Designing for Butterflies, Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, ecosystems, Full sun, Gardens, Groundcovers, Insects, Native Grasses, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Rock gardens, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   My daughter FaceTimed me the other day. She wanted me to see a plant and tell her what would look good with it in her garden. I gave her a few suggestions, but the conversation really got me thinking. I don’t know how many times I have stood in a garden …

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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: 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: 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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Invite An Insect: Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Host Plants, Insects, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Whether you are planting to attract butterflies, bees or a host of other native pollinators, finding out which specific plants are the best to include can be complicated. In order to help you design your pollinator garden, I have pulled together a list of some beneficial insects and their related plants. Look for “INVITE AN …

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The Not So Secret Lives of Bees

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Causes of Insect Decline, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

Originally published in September 2018, our two part series on native and non-native bees adds important information to our current discussion of native pollinators.        Two years ago, when we moved into this house, I planted the beginnings of a butterfly garden. Last summer it didn’t amount to much — the perennials were small and it …

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Plant A Patch: Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Bird Friendly Shrub, Fall Blooming Plants, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping, With-hazel

        Whether used as a divining rod to find water, a cure a broken heart or to ward off evil,  the native shrub witch hazel has held a noteworthy spot in American folklore for centuries. Better known today for its offering rare “golden blooms in the dead of winter,” witch hazel deserves a …

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“Bee-Friending” Insect Populations

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Insects, landscape management, Native Grasses, Native Groundcover, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Native Trees, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, Predatory Insects, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely.   Insects are the foundation of the planet’s ecosystems. When just one type of insect disappears, dozens of other species, including humans, are directly …

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Declining Insects — Declining World: Part 2 Causes of Insect Decline

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Causes of Insect Decline, Insects, Uncategorized

Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely.  (Blog intro: Declining Insects —  Declining World, Feb. 20, 2019)   As usual, once I start thinking about a topic, it pops up everywhere; declining …

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