Display Blog Posts With Specified Tag
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Pollinators

The days are unmistakably shortening. We are heading breakneck towards the equinox (Sept. 23), and after that, we embark upon the triumph of the night and the days begin to shorten.


In the meantime, our gardens are alive with bees, hummingbirds and even a few butterflies. There are still many annuals & tender perennials to keep them fed, all the various daisies that brighten the garden: cosmos, tender fuchsias, tender sage & geraniums keep them coming back for more.


Bees

Kept fairly happy with Albizzia, Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) & aromatic herbs such as Perovskia (Russian Sage), Limonium (Sea Lavender) & the second blooming of Lavender & Centranthus. I notice them haunting the roses as well, especially the single ones, as do the butterflies.


Butterflies

Adult butterflies are dwindling, but they & their descendants need our help more than ever. Somewhere there has arisen a mania for “Fall cleanup” of perennials in the garden. This is a horticultural disaster, since you are encouraging the frost to kill the perennial growth you want to keep by exposing the tender new growth and removing their refuge from the cold. By cleaning up you also eliminate host plants for chrysalises of butterflies and shelter for pollinators.

If we leave the garden be until spring, we can expect them in greater numbers. Even if leaving your whole garden doesn’t appeal to you, for visual reasons, leaving just a small area can go a long way in helping pollinators.


Hummingbirds

The Rufous hummingbirds have fled South, but we now have over-wintering Anna’s who have followed the feeders North as the climate warms. This time of year begins the season of their real need for our care. There is still food for them: Fuchsias, both hardy & tender, Petunias, red Salvia and a smattering of other plants; But feeders fill the gap as the flowers fade. 


If you like to feed hummingbirds, be aware this is no light commitment. These little birds need feeding in the dead of winter too, at the crack of dawn, from feeders free of snow and ice. We will have more on this later, several of us can show our bare footprints in the snow; But for the moment it is just time to be aware of changing needs.

Although not technically pollinators, native birds: juncos, chickadees, nuthatches & towhees also bring life to the fading garden. These birds greatly need shelter & warmth from now on into winter. The method of leaving the garden be in fall provides this and as a bonus, the birds do their own ‘weeding’: collecting weed seeds from under the canopy.


Although it can seem depressing as the days begin to close in, September is historically a time of preservation of summer’s bounty; a time to nurture all we care for, so that we all emerge triumphantly into the new year to come.
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Gardening

 

Summer

is finally here, and the garden is in full bloom and the weeds have settled to a dull roar. One of the delights of the summer garden is watching hummingbirds & butterflies while listening to the humming of bees. These creatures perform an essential role in the garden as pollinators and many people have begun to deliberately create pollinator friendly gardens. Here are a few of the many plants that can and do attract pollinators for the summer season, as well as tips to make the garden more inviting to them.


 

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds love red & if it’s red & tubular even more. Crocosmia, fuchsia, the huge tubes of lilies & the tiny ones of centranthus (Jupiter's Beard) as well as honeysuckle & penstemon. They also enjoy albizzia (the tree) and such annuals/tender perennials as firecracker plant, petunias & callibrachoe. While they don't only feed from red flowers, an abundance of red or deep pink in the garden will keep them coming back; they then zip around the garden seeing if there is anything for a second course. Hummingbirds serve double duty in our gardens, they also catch insects on the wing: flies, gnats & mosquitoes; their favourites being spiders and daddy long legs.  


 

Bees

Bees, on the other hand, are colour blind to red & zero in on the blue side of the spectrum: earlier in the year, lilacs & ceanothus & early campanulas. Now, in full summer, buddleia is always swarming with bees as are subshrubs such as rosemary, lavender, sage & thyme. Perennials such as veronica, delphinium & hardy geraniums are good bee plants, as are the scented verbena, agastache and anchusa. Bees don't shun plants just because they aren't blue: both monarda (bee balm) and asclepias (butterfly weed) can & do attract lots of bees, as does eryngium (sea holly) and many annuals & biennials: cleome, cornflowers, snapdragons & foxglove are good examples.

Butterflies

Butterflies happily trip back & forth between the two colours, adding yellow & white to the mix. They prefer flat flowers: achillea, eryngium, echinacea & rudbeckia; but still they share with hummingbirds a love of centranthus & with bees a love of buddleia & lavender. Such strong scented plants as nepeta (catmint) lemon balm, mint, monarda & hyssop attract not only bees & butterflies but many of the lesser pollinators & helpful insects such as parasitic wasps.  If you plant a few night blooming plants: evening primrose, phlox or cardinal flower, you will also be providing food for nocturnal moths; some of these are incredibly lovely.

In considering how to bring butterflies to your garden, it is important to care for them in their larval stage. The caterpillars of the gorgeous Western Tiger Swallowtail, for example, live & feed on poplars, willow, birch & bitter cherry, while the Pale Swallowtail prefers alder. Stinging nettle is home to many baby butterflies as are native thistles. If possible, a small "wild" section at the edge of the garden will ensure an abundance of butterflies. Leaving garden cleanup til spring also means that overwintering chrysalises will not be destroyed

Water & Other Needs

Similarly, bees need more than just nectar: the right housing can increase the number of kinds of bees that come to the garden: in BC our gardens can attract honeybees, mason bees, leaf cutter bees as well as bumble bees to mention just a few.   Some of these are ground nesting and are very important pollinators.  They are not aggressive, stinging only in self defense.   For these bees it is good to leave a bare (uncultivated) area of soil, which remains fairly dry.  Some hornets & wasps also nest in the ground, and they DO sting!!!  Its important to learn to tell the difference between a bee and a wasp before leaving or destroying that nest.

All bees also need a source water: any shallow container with pebbles or twigs as landing sites (changed daily) will keep the entire hive healthy. Butterflies will also take advantage of this "pool".  Hummingbirds prefer to fly through a daytime sprinkler for a bath, or else sit in the rain with their wings open "bathing"' They drink dew in the morning but will drink from a shallow birdbath with a very narrow rim.
 

What Not to Do

It goes without saying, I hope, that the primary way to keep your garden attractive to pollinators is to refrain from using pesticides which are not natural in origin. Pesticides are the worst enemies of butterflies, and if they must be applied, even organic pesticides should be applied in the evening when butterflies are mostly inactive.
 

By Design

Plants that attract the various pollinators vary greatly in appearance. This variation of colour & form can make for a very satisfying garden in summer. Most experts suggest a minimum of ten types of plants to keep pollinators coming back, but in honest anything we do in our gardens is a bonus for these small but very essential creatures.

Sunday, February 9, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Gardening

Introduction to Mason Bees

The Mason Bee is named for its habit of using mud to build nest compartments. The orchard mason bee is one of the best pollinators around. They can easily be mistaken for a small black & blue fly about 2/3 the size of a honey bee.

Image Courtesy: www.neighborhoodnotes.com

Whether you have fruit trees, a vegetable garden, or flowers, these bees will ensure you get the most out of what you are growing. While much attention has been paid to the honey bee, it is important to note that mason bees are exceptional pollinators without the wax, honey, swarm or sting.

It has been estimated that a honey bee can pollinate about 5% of the flowers it visits, whereas the mason bee pollinates about 95% and visits twice as many flowers! This pollination is crucial to growing vegetables and fruit and can help ensure a much greater yield in your garden.

How To Start Mason Bees

Mason bees require a nesting hole (drilled or nature made by beetles) 5/16 of an inch in diameter and 4 inches long. Arts Nursery has a great selection of custom made mason bee houses, and replacement tubes. We also sell boxes of bees instore during the early spring.

buy mason bee hives

You’ll want to put your bee hive outside during the month of March or April. Find a place in your yard that will be protected from rain and where the house will get morning sun, or a south-facing wall to maximize warmth from the sun. This will ensure that they are kept dry and the bees wake up earlier, ensuring more flowers are visited.

The males are the first on the scene, but these are not your key pollinators. They are necessary for reproduction of more female bees. The females will begin arriving around April, and in the month that follows, you will see the difference these bees will make in your garden.

Be sure to have plants that support their food needs. The earliest blooming food source (for pollinators) in the pacific west coast area is the red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) certainly one of the most beloved and showy of native northwest shrubs. They offer a brilliant display of red flowers in spring, growing best in rocky, well-drained soil in a sunny location.This deciduous shrub can feed mason bees as well as early visiting humming birds.

Life cycle of the Mason Bee

Early Spring:
Adult bees break through mud walls and emerge from the bee box nests. The male bees, which leave the nest 2 weeks before the females, patiently wait for the females so that the mating process can begin. Once the female bees make it to the outside world (before their wings have a chance to dry) they are attacked and fertilized by the male bees. Then the males die.

Late Spring:
Females lay both fertilized and unfertilized eggs in the nesting holes and a mixture of pollen and nectar (bee pudding) is placed next to each egg. All of the fertilized eggs will produce female bees, whereas unfertilized ones will produce males. The female will lay about 35 eggs over 4-6 weeks, each one in its own protective chamber, sealed with mud. The egg turns into a larva in about 4 days, and eats it’s food supply.

Summer:
Larvae spin cocoons within the nesting hole. By September they are adult bees, but stay in a dormant state until next spring.

Winter:
The new bees are getting ready for early spring when they will emerge from their nests.

Mason Bee supplies are available in-store and online at our new web store: http://shop.artsnursery.com. The actual Mason Bees are available from February through April, in-store only.

If you have any questions about Mason Bees, please feel free to drop by or give us a call at Art's Nursery, 604.882.1201, during business hours.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Selections for the Discerning Gardener

5 Great Plants to Try For Spring 2012

Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Feature Products

The planting season has kicked off to a great start, so here are five of my favorites that you can try out in your garden this Spring.

beesia deltophylla plant

Beesia deltophylla

Ginger-Leaf False BugBane

A superb evergreen perennial from China with lustrous, heart-shaped, dark green leaves with an almost oil-like sheen; bronze-red new growth and winter colour.  Plants begin to bloom in April and will continue sporadically through fall with tall sprays of dainty star-like white flowers.  Beesia prefers a slightly moist, rich soil in shade and is quite tolerant of heavy shade.  Makes a great groundcover and works well in mixed planters.       

Height:  30cm  Spread:  30cm+  Zone:  6

Giant Himalayan Lily

Cardiocrinum cordatum var glehnii

Giant Himalayan Lily

A much rarer Japanese form of the more common Giant Himalayan Lily with large, glossy dark green hosta-like leaves; reddish-bronze in spring. This is a smaller growing form with flowering stalks to 2m, the large strongly fragrant trumpets are white with a greenish cast and dark reddish inner markings. Plant in humus enriched soil with good drainage in partial shade.

Height: 1.25-2m Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 6
hylomecon japonica , japanese poppt

Hylomecon japonica

Japanese Poppy

An uncommon woodland groundcover from Japan this vigorous (but not invasive) spreading perennial forms a neat mound of light green leaves. The clear, golden-yellow, single poppy-like flowers appear in early spring and can last for several weeks. Plant in a cool, moist shady location; plants may go dormant in high summer if it gets too hot and dry.

Height: 30cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 5
double stuff variegated solomons seal
Photo Courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries

Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum 'Double Stuff'

Variegated Solomons Seal

An elegant woodland classic with arching reddish stems and dark green leaves with a broad clean white edge. In early spring you will find small clusters of white bell-like flowers hanging just below the leaves. Prefers partial shade to shade in a rich woodland soil. This superior selection is sure to be an eye-catcher that will brighten any dull site.

Height: 75cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 3
poppy fern picture
Photo Courtesy of Harkaway Botanicals

Pteridophyllum racemosum

Poppy Fern

Until a few years ago this plant was scarcely known to but a few of the most avid collectors, even Rebecca didn't know how to classify this one! A very unique perennial endemic to the mountains of Japan it forms an evergreen rosette of dark green, fern-like leaves (like a miniature Jurassic tree) which are topped by short spikes of pendulous clean white flowers; spring into summer. Prefers moist, humus rich, well drained soil in a cool shady site. Makes a great container specimen and conversation piece.

Height: 15-30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 5

All of these plants are available at Arts Nursery, albeit in very limited quantities. Please call ahad to confirm availability.


Saturday, July 9, 2011
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Feature Products

What would gardening be without exciting new plants. Here's a collection of 5 unique and interesting plants to consider adding to your garden for July 2011.



Beesia deltophylla

 Beesia
Beesia deltophylla
An excellent evergreen groundcover from the Dan Hinkley Collection. Exceptionally shiny, green to gunmental blue, heart-shaped leaves and pretty star-shaped flowers in mid to late spring. A fuss-free filler for shady understory spaces or a woodland garden. Best in full to partial shade. A slow grower. Maximum 18-24 inches tall and as wide. Hardy in zones 7-9

Justicia brandegeana




Shrimp Plant
Justicia brandegeana
A terrific tropical element to use in pots on patios or planted in entryways to enjoy the pendant terminal spikes of showy, unusual flowers. An evergreen in warm climates, but treat as an annual or as a houseplant in winter here in the pacific northwest. Best in full to part sun. Flowers year round (in warm climates). Will grow 3-4ft tall. Water regularly when top 3 inches of soil is dry. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11



Dianella revoluta 'Baby Bliss'

Baby Bliss Flax Lily
Dianella revoluta 'Baby Bliss'
A compact, extremely versatil and easy-care selection with blue-green foliage and pale violet flowers followed by attractive purple berries. An excellent mass planting or border in front of shrubs. Tolerates most any soil and salt spray. Evergreen. Thrives in either full sun or shade. Forms small clumps 1ft tall and 6 inches wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-11. Needs only occasional water once established.



Disporum pullum 'Variegata'

Variegated Fairy Bells
Disporum pullum 'Variegata'
A charming groundcover with dark green leaves sreaked with pure white, golden fall colour. Easy to grow and makes a good naturalizer. Spreads to form a loose carpet of arching stems. Large creamy white, bell-shaped flowers in spring. A woodland plant best in cool shady sites. Height 40-50cm. Spread: 60cm. Hardy to zone 5.



Eucalyptus parvula

Small Leaved Gum Tree
Eucalpytus parvula
This mid-sized tree has juvenile leaves that give way to longer-pointed mature foliage which is attractive for cut arrangements at any age. Tolerates poorly drained, infertile soils and drought. Fast growing, with spreading, semi-weeping branches to 30-50ft tall and wide. Hardy in zones 7-11. Evergreen. Best in full sun. Water occasionally as needed.

All of these plants are available at Art's Nursery, but possibly seasonally and in limited quantities. Please give us a call at 604.882.1201 for more information or to have us put one of these specialties aside for you.


Sponsored Advertisement

Be Part Of Our Growing Community!

Subscribe, Like or Follow Us Online

  Learn More >>

Blog Profile

arts nursery logo
Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter


Blog Search

Recent Posts

Sunday, September 15, 2019
9 Rare and Unusual Tropical Ferns

This fall (2019) we've managed to source a variety of unique, unusual and hard to find tropical fern...

Thursday, September 12, 2019
September in the Pollinator Garden

The days are unmistakably shortening. We are heading breakneck towards the equinox (Sept. 23), and a...

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Now is the Time to be Alert for Fall Bulbs

In the fall, we are cheered by the arrival of bulbs that promise spring again soon. I have not the s...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Tree Queens of Summer

​​​Hungry for spring, we so often choose our trees: cherries, deciduous magnolias, dogwoods, stewart...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Vegetarian Garlic Broth

Roses love it, vampires fear it. I have a cushion that advises: anyone who doesn't love cats must ha...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Golden Beet Borscht

As the end of August approaches we strive to make the most of the warm days we have left in the gard...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Macrophylla Hydrangeas: In with the New!

Without doubt, macrophylla hydrangeas are very high on any list of most popular summer & fall shrubs...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
20 New Fall Planting Bulbs for 2019

With the final days of summer slowly approaching it’s only natural for us gardeners to start plannin...


Tag Cloud

ferns tropical ferns tree ferns brazilian tree fern tasmanian tree fern blechnul golden zebra fern heart fern birds nest fern staghorn fern licorice fern fronds indoor ferns tender ferns rare ferns unusual fernspollinators gardening september fall equinox autumn bees butterflies hummingbird pacific northwest bc british columbia lower mainland surrey langley vancouver mountainsbulbs fall bulbs planting shop local colchicum fox tail lily crocus waterlily crocusmagnolia grandiflora teddy bear magnolia flowers trees blooming summer albizia pink bloomsgarlic broth garlic broth recipes vegan vege vegetarian soup grow your own baking cooking potato brothtomatoes august garden potatoes dill dill stalks recipe borscht sour cream beets golden beetsMacrophylla hydrangeas shrubs deciduous new varieties shady spring flowering canada narcissus daffodils tulips tulipa hyacinth muscari grape hyacinth iris foxtail lily camas lilyfruit fool blog fruit peaches nectarines stone fruit family whipped cream sugar local produce localquince fig ficus fig tree chutney fresh fruit delicious food jam flavor diy garden summertime plants perennials relaxing nature deadhead hibiscus fruit trees pruning growing cherries apricots canning hummingbirds crocrosmia rudbeckia watering mophead hydrangeas lacecap hydrangeas hydrangea basics what is a hydrangea deciduous shrub hydrangea plants panicle hydrangea paniculatahow to grow hydrangeas learn to grow hydrangeas hydrangea care growing hydrangeasnew plants whats new arts nursery ruffles echeveria spinning gum tree eucalyptus hop organic compost fuyu persimmon itoh peony Joanna marlene itoh peony baptisiahanging baskets hanging basket tips hanging basket care growing hanging basketsroses select roses brad brad roses vogue anniversary vogue rose red rose pink rose apricot rose fragrance nursery garden centrecamellia evergreen shrub shrub blooms winter blooms camelia japonica debutante bob hope sasanqua yuletide winter containers porch pots winter planters winter decorations Christmas planters Christmas containers Christmas pots

Blog Roll

Other interesting gardening blogs that we follow include:

Blog RSS Feed

Keep in touch by subscribing to our RSS/Atom News Feeds


Subscribe Via FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Art's Nursery Ltd.

8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

Tel: (604) 882-1201
Fax: (604) 882-5969
Email: info@artsnursery.com
Hours:Hours of Operation
Map:Map & Directions
Contact:Contact Us

Art's Nursery is dog friendly

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

Copyright (c) 2019 Art's Nursery Ltd.  | 8940 192nd Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V4N 3W8  | tel: 604.882.1201  | SiteMap  | Privacy Statement |