The birds and the bees (and the butterflies)
A beautiful garden, filled with bees merrily buzzing about, can make your home stand out from the rest. Whether you're getting ready to sell or you're gardening for your own enjoyment, it takes time, work and patience to see your garden to its full potential. When you are planning your garden for the year, as many of us are doing now, we encourage you to make your garden attractive to birds, bees and butterflies. These creatures aren't just lovely to look at; they also provide essential pollination for many of our plants. The least we can do is create gardens that help them thrive.Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds, those tiny-yet-eye-catching birds, will come to any type of home. Just check out this article on Audubon.com to learn more. You can even get a hummingbird to visit you on an upper floor of an apartment building! Use a hummingbird feeder and put native plants such as trumpet honeysuckle in a window box, and you're sure to see those hummingbirds. Click here to learn how to make your own hummingbird nectar.Bring on the Bees
Honeybees, as you may have heard, are becoming rarer and rarer. Ellie's partner, Tal, has 6 hives and runs a honey CSA. If you want to learn more about some local bee hives, click here to check out his website.
As a "wanna-bee" beekeeper, Ellie strives to plant as many bee-attracting flowers at her home as possible. Culver's root, purple coneflower and black-eyed Susans make a striking garden as well as a tasty meal for honeybees. Planting these flowers in clusters can attract the birds and bees, but you must avoid pesticides and inorganic fertilizers. Instead, use alternatives to keep your plants from being eaten by insects, bunnies, or other pests.
Your local garden centers are great resources, such as Garden in the Woods, located in Framingham. If you'd prefer to read more about organic growing, here's an article about pesticide alternatives in Massachusetts.
Enjoy this summer weather, and watch for the birds, butterflies and bees!