All are welcome at The Mary Prentiss Inn, people and pollinators!
Pollen-dusted Honey Bee
We’ve planted the front dooryard garden with an array of eye-catching, fragrant, and nectar rich flora for both guests and neighbors to enjoy, and to sustain the growing number of bees, butterflies, and songbirds frequenting the garden.
Fabulously fragrant Oriental Lilies are planted adjacent to the front door to welcome visitors as they enter the Inn.
The Mary Prentiss Inn, from the pollinators point of view~
The Mary Prentiss is a stunning twenty-room Greek-Revival style inn located on a quiet street minutes away from Harvard Square. Elegant, comfortable, and charming, with period architectural detail and decor, the Inn is outfitted with all modern amenities. Visit The Mary Prentiss Inn website for more information.
Enjoy a delicious made-to-order breakfast or afternoon tea at the Inn’s secret garden.
The Mary Prentiss Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the proud recipient of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for 1995.
The Mary Prentiss Inn is located at 6 Prentiss Street, Cambridge. Call 617-661-2929 or visit maryprentissinn.com
My friend Patti Papows very thoughtfully invited me to come film and take photos in her gorgeous garden, especially her milkweed patch. Patti purchased milkweed plants from our Cape Ann Milkweed Project several years ago, both the Common and Marsh Milkweed that we offered.
Patti’s Common Milkweed has really taken off this year. The plants are about five feet tall, lush and healthy, and bursting with sweetly fragrant blossoms. The Monarchs are daily visitors, coming not by the ones and twos, but by the dozen. Not only are her milkweed blossoms beckoning to the Monarchs, but the plants are also attracting every bee species imaginable found in a Cape Ann garden, as well as myriad other pollinating insects.
I showed Patti how to find Monarch caterpillars. She found three in about three minutes; we weren’t even trying that hard! They are safer from spiders in my terrariums, so I brought her tiny caterpillars home where they are developing nicely alongside a dozen Monarch eggs. These eggs were discovered in my garden, and at the Common Milkweed plants growing along the edges of the Good Harbor Beach parking lot.
Patti’s patch of native highbush blueberries attracts loads of Catbirds, and dozens more species of songbirds and small mammals. This morning the foliage made a perfect perch for a male Monarch butterfly.
In the above photo you can clearly see the Monarch’s two-part tubular drinking straw, called a proboscis. The Monarch is probing deep into the Milkweed floret for a sip of sweet nectar.
Who, me? I’m innocent! Chipmunk snacking at the buffet-of-plenty in Patti’s garden.
Patti placed the purple chair in the midst of the milkweed patch so that visitors can enjoy being surrounded by the beautiful pollinators buzzing all around and the delightful fragrance emitted by the Common Milkweed. I tried it out and her plan worked, it is pure Heaven!
I had an absolutely wonderful morning filming and photographing, despite the limiting overcast skies, and plan to return on a sunnier day, hopefully this week while the Monarchs are here on Cape Ann busy egg-laying and pollinating our gardens!
Patti shares that at the end of the day, her Monarchs are nectaring from the flowering hosta. She sent these photos this morning, taken yesterday afternoon with her cell phone.
Every day is reason to celebrate and conserve our Beautiful Planet Earth.Mexican Sunflower and Bee
Seaside Goldenrod for Bees and Butterflies
Come on over to the Sawyer Free Library Thursday night and learn how you can create a welcoming haven for birds, bees, and butterflies!
Plant Cosmos for the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies
Marsh Milkweed for the Butterflies and Bees
Male and Female Luna Moths
Zinnias for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Bees, and Butterflies
Mexican Sunflower and Bee
Monarch and Hibiscus
I spent the afternoon in New Hampshire today at my publisher’s warehouse picking up a batch of books. Although there was evidence of the drought all along the route, the lack of rain didn’t seem to effect these roadside beauties (or the intoxicated bee, see Instagram video below).
Bluets, also known by the charming name Quaker Ladies
The first day of spring! It’s official although, with temperatures hovering in the twenties, its hard to believe. Close your eyes and imagine along with me pink and orange tulips, spring dresses, (stick with me here–just don’t look out your window at the still high drifts of snow) fields of bluets, sailboats in the harbor, windows open, the music of buzzing bees, shoots of new green grass, blue skies, robin bird songs, the smell of freshly tilled earth, fog horns in the distance, baby birds, misty warm April showers, the sweet scent of jonquils, bird’s nests along the meadow’s edge, the song of the Baltimore orioles returning, walking along the beach (without bundling up), friendly Red Admiral butterflies, lilacs, plum blossoms, magnolias in bloom, dogwoods in bloom, orange poppies, sweet pea tendrils, and sweet alyssum (see there, its not that hard).
Hurry Up Spring!
Tulips at The Mary Prentiss Inn
Cornus florida rubra
Blue Lilac ‘President Grevy’
Rosa rugosa and Bee
Lilacs flower in an array of beautiful hues
Video taken from son Bj’s Cell phone…
I accidently disturbed an underground bees nest this afternoon while working in the backyard with St. Barry. Within seconds of feeling a sting I was surrounded by hundreds of bees, which chased me all the way around the house as I ran for cover yelling OUCH!
My back swelled immediately. After 5 minutes of icing I decided to make a post on Facebook seeking treatment advice. I love the power of Facebook. In 30 seconds remedy’s were shared, by friends…
Garlic smash one and put on,rapido!!
Paste with meat tenderizer and water
wash it with soap and water and put an antiitch cream on. I got stung a month ago, then Andy went out and got stung too..Just like you. I ended up in the drs because the swelling was so bad and got a red line up my arm.
I got stung a couple of weeks ago for the first time in my life…I mixed baking soda and some water made a paste, spread it on and let it dry…And then I repeated it…
Holy shit it sounds like cooking recipes just make sure the string is out keep clean call me morning
I did the baking soda and water too and the dr asked me why i did that.
Hope you are doing better.
Didn’t you see “my big fat Greek wedding “. ?
Hope it’s better
just did the baking soda … feels a little better after several applications! I have a high tolerance for pain…Wow can’t believe how much my back hurts…
Bees Pollinating Sunflower
Friends and GMG readers share the most beautiful treasures, including the following film, sent in by Mary Weissbaum. Mary writes, “The hummingbird doing rolls chasing a bug is neat! Watch closely and check out the baby bat under its mama (@ ~2 min, 38 sec). Unreal !! If you never knew what goes on in the garden when you aren’t paying attention, watch this – some of the finest filmography you will ever see.” Thank you Mary!
I have posted this video before and think it is worth seeing again, and again!
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).
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.
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 viginiana and Eastern Carpenter Bee
Is there a tree more lovely in flower than the North American native dogwood?
Whether flowering with the classic white bracts, the stunning rubra bracts, or the less often seen pale, creamy rose-tinted bracts, our native dogwood (Cornus florida) never ceases to give pause for beauty given.
NATIVE TREES SUPPORT NATIVE POLLINATORS!
At this time of year when traveling along southern New England roadways we are graced by the beauty of the dogwood dotting sunny roadside borders where meets the woodland edge. The bracts and flowers emerge before the leaves, serving only to heighten their loveliness. The fresh beauty of the bract-clad boughs is offset by the impressionistic symphony of tree foliage unfurling, shimmering in hues of apple green, chartruese, moss, and lime peel.
*Bract – A bract is a leaf-like structure surrounding a flower or inflorescence. The colorful bracts of poinsettias, the hot pink bracts of bougainvillea, and the bracts of dogwoods are often mistaken for flower petals.
The open florets (pea-green colored) and unopened buds are surrounded by the rose red-shaded bracts.
Read about how to help prevent an attack by the lethal dogwood anthracnose. Read more
Click this text for the link to my tribute to Rosa Rugosa
Click this text for my Rosa Rugosa Life Cycle Slide show
In the right of the picture you can see the rose hip which is what is left after the flowers fall off of the stems. The rose hips are the fruit which people used to make jam out of in the old days. In a couple months the rose hips will turn orange-red from the present green color.