Mason bees & beautiful parking strips for pollinators

Welcome back to gardening season. The days are tangibly longer and those extra minutes of light are beckoning us gardeners back into our winterized beds. (Take a peek at the new growth around the crowns of your peonies, track the height of your daffodil spears, but leave that mulch down to keep them cozy!) Now is the time to prune up your shrubs and fruit trees, get on top of the winter weeding & mulching, and start seriously planning for spring veggie crops.

This year I’m excited to focus on attracting and sustaining pollinators and birds in the garden. We installed a couple beautiful water-wise parking strip gardens last year and I intend to make that a central part of our work this year as well. Join us in ripping up that high-maintenance, low-return grass strip and replace it with a beautiful ribbon of perennial grasses, flowers & native ground covers that will help sustain beneficial insects and critters. These vibrant, diverse gardens can be low-maintenance and drought-tolerant once their roots establish in place.

Looking for inspiration on this front? I find mine in Piet Oudolf‘s work and Seattle’s own Sarah Bergmann’s  Pollinator Pathway project. If you think you might have interested neighbors or you live near a larger green space, your garden may be eligible for Pollinator Pathway certification.

IMG_5841
Water-wise Planting Strip, year 1   [design & photo by Hazel Landscapes]
We will also be installing Mason bee homes in several of our gardens to encourage early pollination of fruit trees & shrubs. I’m excited to make this a wide-spread project. Get in on the fun with your own custom built Mason bee house, and ensure a bountiful crop of berries and fruit for the fall. Read about Mason bees here on the Seattle Tilth blog, then talk to us about ordering some for your garden. The time is now!

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 4.33.59 PM.png
[photo credit: crown bees.com]

 

 

 

Advertisements