Skip to content

Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – May 3, 2024

Table of Contents

Shannon’s Note

It’s a cloudy, rainy, spring day as I’m writing this. The birds are singing between rainstorms and from my office window I can see many of the native plant seedlings we’re growing for the nursery. Our first native plant sale of the season is next weekend at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site – just in time to round out National Wildflower Week. I’m really looking forward to the plant sale and the talk I’ll be giving on Gardening with Native Plants.

However, I also know that having access to quality native plants is only one piece of the puzzle. Just as important as having access to the plants, is knowing:
🌱 how to pick the right native plants for your yard,
🌱 how to care for them,
🌱 how to go beyond just having a garden and begin creating habitat so your property can be as beneficial as possible for pollinators and wildlife,
🌱 how find that fine line between “perfect world” scenarios and what works in the real world for your unique situation,
🌱 and so much more.

That’s why, in addition to growing quality native plants, Anthony and I put so much time and energy into our educational programs. We want to help people be successful growing native plants and creating pollinator and wildlife habitat, even if they live too far away to purchase their plants from us.

We do much of our educational work through Backyard Ecology. This includes the Native Plants 101 Workshop that I recently hosted. The workshop was amazing, and I was honored to share (for the first time ever) my new STAY with Native Plants method for picking the right native plants for your yard. I was humbled by all the positive feedback I received from the workshop.

I anticipate offering the Native Plants 101 Workshop again either this fall or next spring. If you want to become more confident in your ability to pick the right native plant species for your unique yard, situation, and goals, then I encourage you to sign up for the wait list.

Or, if you struggle with invasive species (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), then you might be excited to hear that Anthony is planning an invasive species workshop for late this summer. We don’t have a lot of details about it yet, because Anthony is just starting to develop it. But if you join the invasive species workshop wait list you’ll be among the first to receive the details and access to any super early bird discounts we might offer.

Back to top

Nursery News

The nursery is really starting to come to life again. We have trays and trays and trays of seedlings that we are busy transplanting from the germination trays to the next size up containers. Many of the species are still too small to sell and won’t be ready until June or maybe this fall, but that’s to be expected because they are species that prefer warmer temperatures.

We also have a few plants from last year that we overwintered which are really looking nice. Some of the columbine were absolutely gorgeous a few weeks ago when they were in full bloom. We went ahead and let them bloom, then left the seedpods which are now developing nicely on the plants. Whoever purchases those individuals will get lots of seeds which they can turn into new plants next year.

I’m also excited because it looks like the overwintered foxglove beardtongue will either be blooming next weekend, or really close to it! I always love seeing how quickly the pollinators find our booth when we have native plants blooming at it. We’ll also have Venus looking-glass available next weekend! Venus looking-glass is one of our new species for the season and is the one that I highlighted in the previous edition of this newsletter.

The foxglove beardtongue is just about ready to burst into full bloom. I’m hoping it happens for next weekend’s sale.

Back to top

Fall Native Plant Plugs

Fall is the best time to plant native flowers, native grasses, and native trees and shrubs. If you’re interested in purchasing a larger quantity, of slightly smaller plants, consider putting in a plug order. This is a great way to make large quantities of plants affordable.

Back to top

Native Plant Spotlight

Love bumble bees and hummingbirds? Looking for a native plant that can tolerate a wide range of site conditions? Then foxglove beardtongue is a species you might want to consider.

Foxglove Beardtongue flowers

Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Blooms: May to July

Classification: Native, perennial

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Dry to wet

Provides food for:

  • Hummingbirds (flowers)
  • Native bees (flowers)
  • Honey bees (flowers)
  • Butterflies (flowers)
  • Moths (flowers)
  • Caterpillars (foliage)
  • Songbirds (caterpillars and other insects)

Back to top

Not Sure Which of Our Plants Is Right for You?

We developed the Right Plant, Right Place Selection Guide to help you sort through the species we are growing and find the ones that will work best in your location.

Back to top

Upcoming Sales and Events

Native Plant Sales

Educational Events

We still have room for a few more activities or events this year. Please contact us if you have a community event coming up that you would like us to participate in or if you would like for us to consider being a guest vendor at your local farmer’s market.

Back to top

Backyard Ecology Resources

Did you know that Anthony and I produce a variety of free educational resources every week to help and encourage you as you grow native plants, create miniature ecosystems on your property, and attract pollinators and wildlife? Below are some of our free resources that you might enjoy.

Back to top

Subscribe to the Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting email list to have these newsletters emailed to you.

Back to top

Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting

Helping you create the pollinator and wildlife habitat of your dreams, so you can enjoy your land and care for the plants and animals that also call your property home.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.