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Author Topic: Socks in your Pollinator Garden, Oh My!  (Read 924 times)
MrILoveTheAnts
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« on: January 17, 2009, 07:08:03 PM »

I was reading the Courier Post this morning (I think the one from today)  and they had an article in there called Pollinate/Keep insects in the garden. So a couple of things caught my eye.

First off they recommended Butterfly Weed, Milkweed, Black-eyed Susan, and Cone flowers. Fair enough, though they went on to praise Butterfly Bush way more than I'd like.

Second Lorraine Kiefer, owner of the Triple Oaks Nursury and Herb Garden in Franklinvile commented. "If a gardener doesn't garden naturally, it is very hard to keep pollinators. The homeowner is not qualified to have dangerous pesticides. The bottom line is that people need to garden naturally, make the garden conductive to butterflies or honey bees."

Truer words were never spoken better. I have to check out Triple Oaks in person next year.

So far so good, this is some good, sound, advice. But then....

Debbie Kearns, owner of Jones Nursery in Williams-town, also subscribes to the natural method. Kearns recommended soaking a sock in sugar water, then freezing it. "If you freeze the sock and hang it outside, it starts to thaw and lets off the scent of the sugar."

At this point I began throwing up at the though of my bees discovering a sugar coated sock-sickle in someone's garden and adding that tang to the honey.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 07:20:31 PM »

But mostly bees don't mess with sugar if there is a flow going on.

And on that note, just think what the bees find in dumpsters and trash cans.
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irerob
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 07:24:04 PM »

   Theres just some things I don't want to know. Lips Sealed
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Jessaboo
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 11:15:49 AM »

Oh that sock does sound gross.

And I have to agree - butterfly bush (buddleia) is being pushed a bit much considering it has "escaped" cultivation and is looking like an invasive on the rise. But when you think about it for the average home gardener it seems perfect - fast growing, high drought tolerance, consistent, pretty AND long bloom, draws in pollinators, reasonably priced - what more could you want!? In all fairness, it is B. davvidi that is the most problematic (maybe because it is the most widely sold?)

"In the United States, it has established in California, Oregon, and Washington in the West, and about fifteen New England, Great Lakes, mid-Atlantic, southeastern, and Midwestern states (USDA, NRCS, 2006). B. davidii is listed as a Category 3 invasive plant in the New York metropolitan area, meaning that while not invasive in that region, its invasiveness elsewhere warrants close watch (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, 2006). B. davidii was listed as a Class B Noxious Weed in Oregon in 2004.
In Washington State, Buddleja has escaped cultivation in at least Clallam, Jefferson, Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Clark counties. Hitchcock and Cronquist had noted that B. davidii was a common garden escapee along roadsides and railroad tracks in western Washington in 1973."

I'm not at all surprised by Lorraine Kiefer's comments - she is a HUGE advocate of using native plants and encouraging all sorts of wildlife in the garden. Anyone in the NJ/DE/PA area would find a trip to Triple Oaks Nursery in Franklinville well worth it. Especially for something like their Herb Weekend. You can check them out online at www.tripleoaks.com too.

Anyway, for folks interested in the entire Courier article, here is a link:
http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009901170307

- Jess
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 02:25:45 PM »

Buddleia, Butterfly Bush, not Butterfly Weed, just for some clarification.  I grow this blue species of Buddleia.  It is not overly attractive to bees, butterflies yes, it is an extremely hard plant, survives freezing weather.  Self-seeds, I have spoken of this before.  The bees do alight on it now and then, most mostly it is not used.  I have other flowers that are more beneficial that grow at my place for the honeybees.  Just a pretty picture of a pretty Buddlelia.  Have a wonderful and awesome day, attract great health, love our life.  Cindi

Buddleia



That Buddleia is an amazing shrub.  I think that huge flower spikes each only last a couple of days and they are spent, the nectar would be short-lived too.
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