Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Beautiful Bleeding Heart

Beautiful Bleeding Heart

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mason Bees

A few weeks ago for my birthday, my sister Amy gave me a Mason Bee house. I've seen these bee houses in gardening magazines and on the Internet and thought they looked interesting. I'm fascinated with bees of all types and loved receiving this gift. Mason bees are not aggressive and are super pollinators - I've read that one Mason Bee can do the pollinating work of a thousand honey bees. With all of the flowers I have in my yard, I have lots of bees and other insects. Now that I've seen a picture of a Mason Bee (they are green blue in color and not striped yellow and black - what you typically think of when you think bees) I will keep my eyes open for them. From what I've read about them, they only appear in the spring, but this has been a strange weather and gardening year, so maybe they are still around. In the spring when the mason bees come out of hibernation, they mate and the female lays her eggs in woody crevices she finds. A Mason Bee house gives the Mason Bee a place to lay their eggs. The bees who hatch are likely to stay in the area, so hopefully I can increase my bee population even more.

An update on my last post - I have two delphiniums that have re bloomed! I was so excited and happy to see the new blooms. They are smaller blooms than the originals, but lovely none the less.

Monday, August 2, 2010

There really is a lot of gardening time left in WNY

I was looking at my garden the other day and thought to myself "My garden is on its decline toward fall." Then I read an article and it talked about how we have about 10 more weeks until we get a frost and that there is lots of gardening time left. After reading this, my gardening energy renewed! I took a second look at my garden and thought "There are still so many flowers blooming and many I can dead head to produce a second blooming." So, this morning, I was out in my garden cutting back my Purple Rain salvia, which grows to jungle proportions and produces beautiful smokey purple blooms on spikes that engulf my sidewalk. I felt much better after cutting those back (2 garbage bags full! Sadly, my yard is too small for a compost bin...). Some roses and coreoposis are next in line for a mid summer cutting as is my cat mint, which has already sent up a mass of new blooms. Every year at this time it's a bit of struggle as a gardener because the gorgeous May and June blooms have come and gone and I am challenged to find more plants that bloom later in the year. So, if you too are feeling like the gardening season is on its way out, take a second look and see what you can deadhead and spruce up to encourage a second set of blooms!