Wall Flower Studio Garden

  (Algonquin Highlands, Ontario)
Organically Grown ~ From The Garden

Posts tagged [pollinator]

Borage - Borago officinalis - Beautiful Blue!


 Borage - Borago officinalis

I just love this picture. Those showy little blue star-shaped flowers attract bees, butterflies, and all kinds of good pollinators to my garden.
I use Borage for companion planting. It's well known that growing them near your tomato plants can not only to improve their growth, but also to make them taste better and to repel the tomato hornworm. Who can argue with such wisdom?! A wonderful addition to any kitchen or herb garden, and the edible flowers have a delicate cucumber flavour. Marvelous in salads, sandwiches or as a pretty garnish!
Borage is an annual herb that prefers to be grown in full sun.
I especially admire them since they are an heirloom, and have been cultivated since at least the year 1440. Such a historic plant.
In folklore, this lovely herb was thought to bring courage to the heart. The ancient Celtic people believed borage helped bring courage to face enemies in battle.
When planting seeds in Spring, soak the seeds in wet paper towel for the twenty-four hours first, then sow directly into the garden. Borage will grow to a height of 3 feet.
To purchase Borage seeds please visit my LocalHarvest Store. : )
Thanks for visiting, & as always, Happy Gardening!
Karen Sloan ~ Wall Flower Studio ~ http://wallflowerstudioseeds.blogspot.com

Rudbeckia - Black Eyed Susan - Lovely Native Flowers

I love Black-Eyed Susans, (otherwise known as Rudbeckia). This is not just because of their natural beauty, but also because the deer don't eat them in my garden! I've heard that rabbits do like Rudbeckia, but fortunately, I have 2 cats, and that seems to keep those pesky rabbits away. : )

There are about 25 species in the Rudbeckia genus, all native to the plains and prairies of the Midwest. Growing native plants is especially important to provide food for our pollinators, and because native plants grow very happily in their own habitat.

Rudbeckia species are obviously referred to as Black-Eyed Susans because of their dark-brown central disk flowers which are surrounded by bright yellow daisy-like flowers.
Many species freely self-seed if not dead-headed, which will result in many small plants growing en masse throughout the garden. A beautiful look in any garden or meadow!

Black Eyed Susans will reach 2 feet; it's a perennial that blooms from late June right into Autumn and is hardy in Canada to zone 4, and in the U.S.A., it's hardy to zone 3.

Thank you, and Happy Gardening!


Gardening For Butterflies - And Other Pollinators, Too!

A butterfly garden is a designed to attract and encourage butterflies.

Flowers provide food that adult butterflies need in the form of nectar. Host plants provide the food source needed by caterpillars. A rule of thumb is, the greater the variety of flowers and shrubs, the greater the amount of butterflies that will want to visit your garden!

Try creating a habitat that butterflies will be attracted to. Offer some sheltered areas, which will mean that these beautiful winged creatures will expend less energy fighting the wind. Trellises and other garden structures, as well as plants like bushes and trees will make good wind breaks.

Most importantly remember that butterflies are insects, so never use insecticides. These harmful chemicals kill the butterflies. Even products such as Bt, Bacillus thuringiensis, will kill the caterpillar of butterflies. There is much talk that this is what is killing the bee population as well. Don't use them because insecticides never discriminate. Who needs that? Please look for organic ways of handling your insect problems!. It's better for the planet.

My advice is to provide a diversity of flowers, especially ones that will bloom in succession of each other. This provides a consistant food source for the butterflies and makes good gardening sense, often being the goal of most gardeners that I know!

More importantly, however, butterflies will have a variety of sources to choose from. I prefer to encourage as many native plants as I can in the garden, which I feel is more than likely what the butterflies are seeking in their diet anyhow, since they have evolved through time with them. The butterflies will feel at home in a natural landscape. I must admit though, that annuals provide a good source of nectar to fill in between blooming times of perennial gardens. Who doesn't like to see a window box bursting with annuals? This way, everyone, including the gardener and the butterflies, are happy!

Some flowers that butterflies will appreciate:

Ageratum Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) Butterfly Weed/Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) Goldenrod (Solidago) Joe-Pye Weed Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) White Clover (Trifolium repens) Hop Vine (Humulus lupulus)

Some links butterfly fans might appreciate:

* http://www.ontarioinsects.org/PhotosLeps.htm

* www.niagaraparks.com/garden/butterfly.php

* www.toronto.ca/parks/programs/butterflygdn.htm

* www.mnh.si.edu/museum/butterfly.html

* http://www.monarch.org.nz/monarch/projects/conference-2009/

Happy Gardening : )

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