Six on Saturday - May 22, 2021

 Six on Saturday 

1 - Bug House

The grocery store, Winco, had a few styles of bug houses. I've been wanting to build one, but this was so cute (and inexpensive) I couldn't resist.  The others were simpler; the bottom cones and the top bamboo.  The solitary bees may like having pre-built nesting holes,  no chewing in my shed shelves!
Of course, any insect can use it, not just "bugs."  Bugs are actually one particular sort of insect, not insects in general. Like buying a Spaniel house when any breed of dog could sleep in it.

 2 - Purple Salsify

Is it a weed, or is it a root vegetable?  That's up to you.  It's a weed in my garden, but such a beauty I leave it in out of the way places. It's pretty enough to leave in a flower bed, but mine tends to grow thick with small black aphids.   The entire plant is edible, and seeds are even available for purchase.

 3 - Ditch Lily

Oh, how I love my common orange daylily, known rudely as the ditch lily.   Now, these are considered weeds by many, while I paid for mine to be shipped from out of state!


4 - Lavender "Phenomenal"

One of my American Meadows bareroot perennials I planted in October failed to grow, so the company sent me a replacement.  They didn't have any of the sneezeweed I'd bought, so I asked them to surprise me with whatever they wanted, so long as it was for zone 8 full sun. "Phenomenal" was the result, and I'm pleased.  It's a French lavender hybrid, developed for winter hardiness (down to zone 5!) as well as heat and humidity (into zone 9). I'm planting it in the front yard, in one of the bare areas that used to have blue fescue.

5 -  Bachelor Buttons

I have four types this year, and I think the traditional corn flower blue are still my favorites, although whatever the pink, part of a dwarf mix, has a fuller bloom.  The one in the upper right is called "Classic Magic."  The bottom left is "Ultra Violet."  Neither of those had very good germination percents.

 6 - Nectar Robber

I've mentioned nectar robber bees before, and here's one I caught in the Firecracker penstemon.  See how it chewed a hole in order to reach the nectar in the too-small-for it flower?  Honeybees have  learned to use the holes too.  The problem?  This behavior does not pollinate!


There we have it, my Six for this Saturday, May 22, 2021. 

Comments

  1. All so beautiful Lisa and I adore the bug house. I want one just like it!

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    1. It is really cute! Even if I didn't have solitary bees that should like it.

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  2. Great selection. I particularly like the Purple Salsify. I've heard of bees biting holes in flowers to get at the nectar but I'd never considered the pollination consequences!

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    1. I hadn't either. It's a fairly new thing for honey bees, so the researchers are just now studying to see if it makes an impact. Of course, for all the talk of feeding and saving bees, we forget they aren't native bees. We should be encouraging native bees, which are actually better pollinators than honey bees anyway.

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  3. The lavendar looks promising. They seem to thrive on this climate. I have also observed the nectar robbing in my garden. Online sources suggested these might be carpenter bees.

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    1. The only lavender I haven't been able to keep alive is French. I love it's lacy foliage, but it can't take the cold. Goodwin Creek Gray is a hybrid too, and I always give it mulch, unlike the others. This new one is really cold tolerant, zone 5 is surprising.

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  4. Good choice. I love the way that bee forages penstemon. Your daylilies are ahead of mine: I have to wait half a month to see them bloom.

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    1. My fancier daylilies don't even have buds yet, it's just these ordinary ol' ditch lilies!

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  5. I love the soft orange of the day lily and have quite a few in my garden. I've never heard them called ditch lilies before though, poor things. The bug hotel is very decorative.

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  6. Amazing what some consider weeds. I suppose weeds are in the eye of the beholder. If you don't want it there, it's a weed.

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  7. I really like that bug house! No wonder people shop at Winco. I've never seen anything like that at Albertson's. I've just been leaving hollow plant stems piled here and there. That's like deluxe accommodations!

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