Archive for the ‘Beneficial insects’ Category

See Your Perennials Blooming Again

Deadheading is the removal of old spent flowers and stems of many perennials. Many (not all) perennials will respond and bloom a second and even a third time. Deadheading also refreshes the plant’s appearance and reduces or eliminates the threat of seed dispersal. It redirects the plant’s energy away from seed production toward root and vegetative growth. […]

Fall In Love With Haas’ Halo® Hydrangea

Anyone walking through your garden will stop to see Haas Halo®) hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens Haas Halo®).  This native smooth hydrangea has intense blue-green, leathery foliage and huge pure white wide lace cap blooms (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Flowers stand tall on stout sturdy stems. Shrub branching is upright. This new hydrangea was found by Frederick H. Ray, […]

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, […]

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. […]

Fascinated By Praying Mantis

Carolina Praying Mantis (often written “mantid”, referring to family Mantidae) (Stagmomantis carolina) is the only species of praying mantis native to the U.S. However, about 20 species are found in the U.S.  Most ubiquitous here is the European mantis (M. religiosa). Chinese Praying Mantid (Tenodera aridifolia) is the largest species by size in the U.S., measuring […]

Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum)

Midwest native Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) starts the summer flowering season in my perennial garden. It naturally grows in open woods and meadows and thrives in fertile to moist soils. However, this deep rooted plant hasn’t complain about the current dry period in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6-7). Be aware that culver’s root […]