Tag Archives: sunflower

Top Native Bee Friendly Plants

Obedient Plant and Bee Physostegia virginiana ©Kim Smith 2013Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Below is a list of some favorite nectar- and pollen-rich bee-friendly North American wildflowers for attracting native bees and honey bees to your gardens. They are listed in order of bloom time, from spring through late summer, to provide your foragers with nourishment all growing season long.

Mexican Sunflower © Kim Smith 2013Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

Wild strawberry (Fragaria viginiana)

Wild Blue Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Sunflower (Helianthus annus)

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis)

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Sailor Stan sunflower and bee ©Kim Smith 2011Sailor Stan Sunflower (Helianthius annus)

Eupatorium and Bee ©Kim Smith 2012Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

Ironweed Bee ©KIm Smith 2011New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis)

Reminder: “The Pollinator Garden” at the Beverly Public Library

On Tuesday evening, October 15th, at 7 pm, I will be giving my program, “The Pollinator Garden,” at the Beverly Public Library. Following the rhythm of the seasons, I present a slide show (with over 100 photos!) and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates. I hope you’ll come join me!

Sunflower Helianthus annuus ©Kim Smith 2013Helianthus annuus

“The Pollinator Garden” at the Beverly Public Library

On Tuesday evening, October 15th, at 7 pm, I will be giving my program, “The Pollinator Garden,” at the Beverly Public Library. Following the rhythm of the seasons, I present a slide show (with over 100 photos!) and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates. I hope you’ll come join me!

Sunflower and bee ©Kim Smith 2013Helianthus annuus

Beautiful Saturday September Morning

Twin Light Sunrise good harbor Beach ©Kim Smith 2013I awoke this morning before dawn to film sunrise and found a sweet gift of Virgilios sauce and amazingly fat rigatonis in the basket on my front porch. I am recovering from a leg operation and my friend Catherine Ryan called at the very moment that I was trying my personal recovery technique–on the floor doing a shoulder stand, with phone in hand–and she really got an earful. Thank you Catherine for listening to me complain about itchy leg braces and hospitals. I gave her the wrong impression though because I can walk and work–I just cannot sit or stand in one place for very long.

Good Harbor beach ©Kim Smith 2013

After putting the sauce and pasta in the cupboard I left to go film, and once again, the exquisite Great Blue Heron was there at Good Harbor Beach fishing amongst the reeds. For the third morning in a row I have observed a flock of cormorants leaving Salt Island en masse to fish with the gulls in the outgoing surf along the shoreline. I wonder, do they sleep there every night?

Sailor Stans ©Kim Smith 2013Next stop was to a friend’s home on Rocky Neck to drop off peaches from my garden. The light was hitting the Sailor’s Stan’s sunflowers perfectly and I just had to stop and take several snapshots.

Sailor Stans Sunflower ©Kim Smith 2013

By now it’s after 8:00 and I almost always go to yoga on Saturday mornings but because of the stitches, thought better of it and instead went to measure a new border at the Gloucester HarborWalk.

Gloucester harbor walk Gardens ©Kim Smith 2013 copyBlooming today at the HarborWalk are asters, goldenrod, annual rudbeckia, and salvia.

Long Hill Beverly ©Kim Smith 2013Next stop was the farm stand and then on to Pick Your Own at Long Hill in Beverly. In case any pollinators stop by, I prefer to leave my own zinnias growing in the garden and just love the array of colors in the Long Hill garden mix.

All this gorgeousness before 10:00 and I still have a work day if front of me, but it’s been a September Saturday morning I won’t soon forget! For all these gifts, of friendship and of the beauty that surrounds, I am counting my blessings.

Europe Bans Bee-Harming Pesticides

Europe took a significant step as a majority of EU member states voted for a partial ban of three bee-killer pesticides. This, despite fierce behind-the-scenes lobbying from insecticide firms Syngenta and Bayer.  “A series of high-profile scientific studies has linked neonicotinoids to huge losses in the number of queens produced and big increases in “disappeared” bees – those that fail to return from foraging trips. Pesticide manufacturers and UK ministers have argued that the science is inconclusive and that a ban would harm food production, but conservationists say harm stemming from dying pollinators is even greater.” (The Guardian, UK).

Sunflower bees Sailor Stans ©Kim Smith 2012

It  is a landmark vote and was supported by petitions signed by millions of people.  Although it is only a two year ban, the hope is the ban will give the beleaguered bee a break, and allow time for reexamination of data. Under the EU measures, restricions on the following apply: for treating seeds, soil and leaves on flowering crops attractive to bees such as corn, sunflowers and rapeseed (the source of canola oil). The products may still be used on crops like winter wheat for which the danger to bees is deemed to be small. Use by home gardeners will be prohibited.

The three banned insecticides are imidacloprid, thiametoxam, and clothianidin. The neonicotinoid I see commonly listed on pesticides that are readily available to the home gardener is imidacloprid. I urge every home gardener not to use pesticides. I don’t use them, ever, in my own garden, and never in both the private and public gardens that I design and maintain. Several years ago, I reported that Alain Baraton, the head gardener at the Palace of Versailles stopped using pesticides at the palace gardens. Within the year, a natural balance began to take hold in the gardens, including the return of songbirds to the gardens which in turn eat the insects. If the no-pesticide policy is successful at Versailles, which receives millions upon millions of annual visitors, a pestide ban can certainly be implemented for our private homes and public spaces.

Korean daisy for bees©Kim Smith 2011

A dear friend of mine, Heidi Kost-Gross, is Vice Chair of the Natural Resources Commission for the Town of Wellesley (garden club readers–she is also President of the Federated Garden Club of Massachusetts). Heidi has been instrumental in pesticide reduction throughout Massachusetts. The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission has created an outstanding Pesticide Reduction Resource Guide for Citizens and Municipalities of Massachusetts, which is available for free to distribute anything found in the guide.

Magnolia virginiana Eastern Carpenter Bee Kim Smith 2011 copy

Magnolia viginiana and Eastern Carpenter Bee

Oh Joy! ~ Sailor Stan’s Sunflower

Happy to see cerulean skies and Mr. Sunny this morning–even if only briefly!

Shutter 1/280 Aperture 6/4 ISO 320Sailor Stan’s Sunflower Rocky Neck Gloucester

~

To view larger, click on the image. At my Close-up Photography Workshop yesterday, one of the students, who also follows my blog and GMG requested that I, or any of the GMG contributors, include the extended photo information. It is time consuming to retrieve this information and I am not sure I will always be able to accommodate although I do believe it is a great learning tool. In the above image, to see the extended information, run the cursor over the image and it will be displayed with the title. Let me know if you find this information helpful.