Archive for the ‘Bees and other pollinators’ Category

Blue Star Amsonia Is A Solid Performer

Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is native to the central U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). This herbaceous perennial is frequently seen growing in open woodlands in the midwest and south to Florida and Texas. In mid-spring (in Tennessee), plants are filled with clusters of soft light blue star-like flowers, each nearly ¾ inches across. This clump-forming perennial […]

Butterfly Weed Named 2017 Perennial Plant Of The Year

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), aka butterfly weed, is a long-lived tuberous rooted perennial indigenous to the southeastern U.S and mid-western U.S. and Canada (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). It grows in dry/rocky open woodlands, prairies, farm fields, and along roadsides. Individual plants typically grow as a clump to 2- 3 feet high and 1 -2 feet wide. Unlike many […]

Pest Alert: Update On Emerald Ash Borer

Across the U.S. and Canada, ash trees are dying from infestations of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an Asian insect pest. In many U.S. cities, ash (Fraxinus) is a major urban tree genus. Since 2002 EAB has become a serious pest that has killed more than 40 million ash trees in 18 states. This hardwood tree is important to […]

Stop The “Crape Murder”

In Tennessee (where I live) and in the Southeastern U.S., bad crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia x) pruning continues to be done by professional landscapers and homeowners (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). This practice, also called “topping”, reduces tree (or shrub) height. Over 25 years, Southern Living magazine called this “crape murder”. Crape murder is not going away. More crape […]

50+ Flowering Pollen/Nectar Plants For Bumblebees

Here are three key points in planning your pollination garden. To attract U.S. native bumblebees: First, add both early(*), mid-summer, and late(**) flowers in the mix for a three seasons long garden. Second, mass together many of the same kinds of flowers, not just one or two plants, so that bees will spot them easier and to visit the planting frequently. […]

Our Native Bumblebees In Trouble

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized ten more animal species as Endangered Species, providing them protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These 10 species include 7 species of bees. Endangered status will afford the rusty-patched bumblebee protection under federal law. Bumblebees build their nests in the ground (and other places). Honeybees, however, […]

Little Goblin® Series Of Deciduous Hollies

Little Goblin® Red (Ilex verticillata ‘NCIV1’) is one of the new creation from plant breeder Dr. Tom Ranney, at the North Carolina Research And Extension Center in Mills River, NC. It is the first ever tetraploid winterberry. This dwarf variety is also exceptionally hardy and easy to care for. Little Goblin® Orange (‘NCIV2’) is extremely early flowering and […]

Landscape Trees With Winter Interest

Does your winter landscape look a bit shabby? This coming spring take some action by planting trees that should perk up its appearance. New tree choices should ratchet up seasonal interest, attract more bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in the spring-summer and hungry fruit feeding birds in fall-winter. Making smart tree choices can add four-seasons of interest to your yard. […]

Arctic Fire™ Dogwood Brightens Up Winter Landscape

Red-twig or red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) is a native shrub (USDA hardiness zones 2-7). It reaches 8 to 10 feet in height and roots sucker prolifically. It can become a chore keeping it contained in small garden spaces. Arctic Fire™ is a superior cultivar identified by its fiery red stems and compact growth habit. Expect […]

Small Southern Magnolia Cultivars

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of nature’s magnificent landscape trees (USDA hardiness zones 6-9).  This reliable large tree, native to the Southern U.S., is at home in well-drained clay soils and hot summers. The species typically grows to 60-80 feet tall with a pyramidal (young) to a rounded crown (mature tree). It is not uncommon […]