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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – Nov. 5, 2022

Shannon’s Note

November is the month when people take time to be thankful for all that they have in their lives. Anthony and I have many things to be thankful for, including everyone who has bought native plants (or other items) from us, consulted with us, or engaged with our educational content this year. It’s encouraging to know that so many people are also interested in native plants, pollinators, and wildlife. We’re honored when you purchase our products and consulting services, because not only does it mean we can continue to keep our business open, but it also means that together we’re making the world a little better for everyone, including the pollinators and wildlife around us. So, thank you for your support, for being part of our journey, and for caring about your local pollinators and wildlife.

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Nursery Update

This is always such a weird time of year in the nursery. On one hand, we are putting the nursery to bed for the winter as all of the remaining stock from this year goes dormant. On the other hand, we are already planting, or preparing to plant, seeds for next year. Anthony already has sprouts coming up for some of his recently planted shrubs. Those sprouts should eventually go dormant as the temperatures cool off and the day length continues to decrease.

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As you are thinking about gifts for the upcoming holiday season, I’d be honored for you to consider giving my books, honey, or a gift certificate for our native plants / consulting services.

Upcoming Deliveries

November marks the start of my winter deliveries. From now until April, I will be doing monthly pre-ordered deliveries to Bowling Green and Glasgow. This includes two sets of deliveries (November 11-12 and December 9-10) before Christmas. Don’t forget that honey, books, and gift cards for native plants or consulting services would all make great presents during the holiday season.

  • November 11: Glasgow
    • 4:00 p.m., Weldon Park parking lot
  • November 12: Bowling Green
    • 10:00 a.m., parking lot of the WKU Small Business Development Center (a.k.a. old mall)

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Available Items:

Books, Gift Certificates, and Honey

Attracting Pollinators and Wildlife to Your Yard: 15 Free and Easy Ways ($11)
Planting for Honey Bees in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys ($32)
Honey from my bees in Barren County ($15)
Gift Certificates – good for any of my products or services
(you choose the amount)

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Pre-Order Logistics and What to Expect

  • E-mail the following information to
    • List of items, sizes, and quantities that you want to order.
  • Ordering deadline: noon on Thursday, Nov., 10.
    • Orders are filled in the order that I receive them.
    • I will make sure I have everything you want and send you the total for the order.
  • On the day of the delivery:
    • I will have your order ready to go when you arrive.
    • You can pay by cash, check, or card.

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November Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • Leave as many seed heads and other vegetation standing as possible. This will
    • provide valuable food and shelter throughout the winter for our songbirds.
    • provide overwintering sites for insects developing inside of galls within the stems and other vegetation – many of our songbirds will raid those galls during the winter as an additional food source.
    • provide places for butterfly chrysalises (often disguised as crumpled leaves) to develop.
    • allow you to create better nesting sites for our solitary, stem nesting bees and wasps in the spring.
  • For the vegetation that you can’t leave standing,
    • leave 12-24 inches standing to serve as potential nesting sites for solitary, stem nesting bees and wasps in the spring. (Waiting until next spring to do this will provide better nesting sites, but sometimes we have to make compromises.)
    • if possible, stand or loosely pile the vegetation that you cut nearby so that any insects or chrysalises associated with it still have a chance to develop.
  • Leave as many of the leaves on your property as possible.
  • If you see a hummingbird in your yard at this time of year,
    • Consider reporting it and take a look at the Backyard Ecology information (see resources below) about winter hummingbirds in the eastern U.S.
  • In cold weather, hummingbirds go into a state of torpor (short-term hibernation) and can look dead. Sometimes they are even found hanging from one foot. This is a natural condition.
    • If you find a hummingbird like that, leave it alone.
    • Bringing it inside or trying to warm it up will kill it.
  • Clean out any birdhouses that you have on your property.
    • Make any necessary repairs to the birdhouses at this time as well.
  • Most of us have experienced our first killing frosts and most of the goldenrods, asters, and other fall wildflowers that grow in open fields have gone to seed. So, if you have a field that you typically mow, you can do so now without taking floral resources away from our migrating butterflies.
  • Field guides are great items to add to your holiday wish list. We’ve listed some of our favorites towards the bottom of our Educational Resources page.
  • Now is a good time to kill woody invasive species.
    • If you are using herbicides, be sure to read and follow the label.

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Relevant Backyard Ecology Resources

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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.

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