Whenever it is time to snap some images of the various pollinators around the Fairegarden, the camera looks to what is blooming at the moment. Right now, there is not a whole lot in bloom, so the search is more narrow. The native species tall garden Phlox paniculata is the first stop. Click. It is somewhat easy to take a photo of a sleeping bee. You can tell they are sleeping by their wings neatly folded.
Purple prairie clover, Dalea purpurea is having its best year ever. Only one plant out of three purchased has survived, but a nice mulch this spring seems to have been to its liking. I would love to get more of this, now where did I get it?
The most numerous flowers around this time of year are the purple coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea. This one is E. purpurea ‘Sundown’. Something has been eating the petals of all of the coneflowers, but the pollinators are not interested in those bits, they want the fine dining of the cone of nectar.
My favorite summer blooming flowers are the lilies, all of them, large, small, scented, unscented, staked or able to stand alone. Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ is the last lily of the season to open here. Five bulbs planted in one large hole in 2007 have given delight year after year without fail. The critters seem to have an appetite for them, too.
If you are wondering how this garden happens to have so many pollinators, this signage might offer a clue. My dear friend Gail of Clay and Limestone featured the Xerces Society on a blog post here and I duly sent off for one of these nifty signs. I didn’t have to do anything different or special to qualify as a pollinator or wildlife habitat, it’s more what we don’t do that is important. No spraying of pesticides or poisons, grow a diverse bounty of flowering native plants, offer brushpiles and have just a sort of messy garden that offers habitat. Something to eat, someplace to live, no insecticide. Easy peasy. These signs are more than just cool, they spread the word to neighbors and passersby that might otherwise not know how important the critters are to our world and how they can find out more about how to help. All good.
Some of you might have had a flashback when reading the title to this post. Change the word bees to boys and you have the title of a movie and song from long ago that featured the songbird Connie Francis. I love this video of her singing to the troops in Berlin, Germany, 1961.