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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – September 13, 2022

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Shannon’s Note

The butterflies, hummingbirds, and songbirds are migrating. The air is getting less humid. We’re starting to get some cooler days. And all the fall flowers are in full bloom. I absolutely love this time of year. It’s also always a busy time of year in the nursery and in the garden.

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Upcoming Free Webinar

Don’t forget that this Saturday, Sept. 17, I am hosting a free webinar on the benefits of planting native perennial wildflowers, trees, and shrubs in the fall. I’m working hard to make this “not your normal Zoom webinar.” Registration is required because I can only accommodate 95 participants. I hope you’ll join me, and please, share this information with any of your friends.

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Nursery Update

Many of our New England asters are blooming in the nursery, and the pollinators don’t seem to care if they are in pots or in the ground.

After growing them all season to get them to a sellable size, we now have southern blue flag irises and Ohio spiderwort available! This is the first time we have ever had either of these two species for sale.

We are coming up to our last two native plant sales for the season. We still have a pretty good selection of species available, although a few are in limited supply. Some species, like New England asters and obedient plant, are blooming.

All our native plant sales and upcoming events can always be found on the Busy Bee events page.

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Upcoming Native Plant Sale

On September 24, we’ll be at the Tennessee Honey Festival in Nashville. I’m kicking off the educational talks at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation about native Tennessee plants for honeybees and pollinators.

We will also have a booth (#89) where we will have native plants, my books, and honey from our bees for sale. We’ll be there from from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

We are taking pre-orders for those who want to make sure that we have the exact species and numbers they want. (We highly recommend pre-orders if you know you want something because we can only bring a limited number of plants with us and we always end up having to make some hard choices as to what to leave behind.) The deadline for putting in a pre-order for the Honey Festival is noon on Thursday, September 22.

Below is a list of everything we expect to have available for the Honey Festival. Some of the species are in very limited quantities.

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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)

Native Wildflowers for Pollinators and Wildlife (Click on a thumbnail for detailed information about that plant.)

Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
Aster, Aromatic
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-anglicae)
Aster, New England
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Aster, Short’s
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laevis)
Aster, Smooth
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Wavy-leaf Aster (Symphyotrichum undulatum)
Aster, Wavy
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Blazing Star (Liatris squarrosa)
Blazing Star
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Eastern Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Columbine, Eastern
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Grey-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Coneflower, Grey-headed
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Pale-purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
Coneflower, Pale-purple
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Coneflower, Purple
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Lance-leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Coreopsis, Lance leaf
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)
Culver’s Root
Size(s): 1 gal ($13)
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
Cup Plant
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Sweet / Anise-scented Goldenrod (Solidago odora)
Goldenrod, Sweet
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Indigo, Wild Blue
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Southern Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)
Iris, Southern Blue Flag
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Hollow Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium fistulosum)
Joe-pye Weed, Hollow
Size(s): 1 gal ($13)
Hairy Mountain Mint (Pycanthemum pilosum)
Mountain mint, Hairy
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycanthemum incanum)
Mountain mint, Hoary
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Slender Mountain Mint (Pycanthemum tenuifolium)
Mountain mint, Slender
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)
Obedient plant
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Primrose, Evening
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
Rattlesnake master
Size(s): 1 qt ($7), 1 gal ($13)
Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
Spiderwort, Ohio
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Rough Sunflower (Helianthus hirsutus)
Sunflower, Rough
Size(s): 1 gal ($13)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Susan, Black-eyed
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)
Susan, Brown-eyed
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)

Native Grasses for Pollinators and Wildlife (Click on a thumbnail for detailed information about that plant.)

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Bluestem, Little
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)
River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
River Oats
Size(s): 1 qt ($7)

Native Shrubs and Trees for Pollinators and Wildlife (Click on a thumbnail for detailed information about that plant.)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Size(s): 3 gal ($35)
American Elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis)
Elderberry, American
Size: 3 gal ($35)
False Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa)
False Indigo Bush
Size(s): 1 gal ($13)
American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
Hazelnut, American
Size(s): 3 gal ($35)
Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
Size(s): 3 gal ($35)
Shrubby St. John's Wort (Hypericum prolificum)
Shrubby St. John’s Wort
Size(s): 1 gal ($13), 3 gal ($35)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Size(s): 3 gal ($35)

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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, Sept., 22.
    • 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.
    • If you are not satisfied with any of the plants that I picked for you, please let me know before you leave with them and I will be happy to keep those plants. I am not responsible for plants after you take possession of them.

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September Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • Fall is the best time to plant native perennial wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
    • The roots will continue to grow into early winter and will start growing again in the late winter / early spring as the ground warms up. That extra root growth will give your fall planted plants a jump start on any plants that you plant in the spring.
  • Water newly planted plants, as needed.
    • The drought may be mostly over, but we can still have dry spells and newly planted individuals may need additional water.
  • Keep your hummingbird feeders up for the fall migration.
    • Hummingbirds are continuing to move through the area as they head south for the winter.
    • Keeping your feeder up may provide a much needed nectar source for any late migrants, especially as our fall blooming flowers start to fade.
    • However, if you keep your feeder up, remember to continue to regularly clean it and replace the sugar water.
  • If you have a field that you typically mow, which has lots of goldenrods, asters, and other fall flowers in it, then try waiting to mow until after the first killing frost.
    • Waiting to mow will allow our 14 species of butterflies that migrate, including the monarch butterfly, and all of our fall bees the opportunity to use the flowers.
  • It’s always a good time to kill invasive species.
    • Stilt grass (Microstegium sp.) can be easily pulled in garden beds.
    • If you are using herbicides, be sure to read and follow the label.

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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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