It’s ALL about…our POLLINATORS!

It’s ALL about…our POLLINATORS!

Happy Pollinator Week. There really is a week for that? You betcha. Pollinators are vital to life on this planet. And, at Natureworks, we are teaching 

Pollinators come in every size and shape.  

our customers to protect and help pollinators every single day. It all starts with an organic garden. It includes planting lots of pollinator-friendly flowers. It continues with the way you manage your landscape and the way your community manages their public spaces. Pollinators are in decline around the world. We need to take this seriously. Let me just say… we have the plants for that!

This winter I put together a Pollinator Page on our website. Click Here  to link directly to it. Scroll through the slide show of just a few of the amazing flowering plants you can incorporate in your garden. Read about the TEN THINGS you can do to protect our pollinators. First and foremost, you want to plant for succession of bloom, with a minimum of three different pollinator 

Learn to grow elderberries at our free workshop Thursday evening

plants each month. Plant these flowers in large drifts– not single plants. That is where we come in. We wrote the book (literally) on Succession of Bloom in Connecticut. We are stuffed with tons of amazing plants. We can certainly guide you on what will thrive. Leave some areas of your yard a bit wild and encourage wildflowers, even “weeds” like clover, to thrive. 

If you don’t have a yard, or your yard is tiny, add POLLINATOR POTS! These are pots filled with annual flowers that pollinators adore. Yes, we have the plants for that too. Flowering shrubs are also vital for pollinators. This Thursday night at 5:30 I will be offering a FREE workshop called Grow Elderberries! This shrub is in full 

Elderberry flowers are beloved by pollinators. 

bloom right now, with big, lacy, white flowers that pollinators adore. The stems are also used for tunnel nesting native bees in the winter. Did I mention that elderberries are a powerful anti-oxidant fruit? At this workshop I will explain how to make elderberry syrup and elderberry liqueur as well as how to site your plants, prune them, and harvest the berries. 

New varieties of Phlox are pretty, early blooming, and clean as a whistle. Fragrant too, and boy do the pollinators love them. 

Diane and I walked around the nursery this morning and I just kept exclaiming

We now have Astrantia, a very cool perennial for cutting and drying.

“We have EVERYTHING. We have it ALL!” As some garden centers are gearing down and clearing out old, spring plants, we are gearing UP for an incredible summer season of color and beauty. We restock constantly. We have so many amazing plants- over a dozen varieties of butterfly bushes, all kinds of Echinaceas, 5 types of elderberries, all kinds of funky natives, plants that we have admired for years on The High Line, roses galore, and Phloxes including the Fashionably Early line and some of the wonderful Volcano series. We also have lots and lots of herbs…

Echinacea ‘Rocky Top’ is a wonderful native cultivar with upward facing petals. 

Speaking of herbs, this Saturday I am THRILLED that Sandy Merrill is coming to Natureworks and giving a FREE workshop on Herbs for Cooking at 10 

This Saturday is a day devoted to herbs. We have tons of basil of all colors and sizes. Plant up a basil pot for your patio and fill in your garden beds with edible flowers such as calendulas and nasturtiums. 

am. Sandy is the herb expert and the last time she was here, people surrounded her and asked her questions for such a long time. At noon, I will be joining the herbal celebration by teaching about Herbs for Tea– specifically herbal iced teas to celebrate the first weekend of the summer. And yes, we will have various iced teas for sampling. 

We have already been collecting monarch butterfly eggs and are offering 2 more training sessions if you want to learn How to Raise Monarch Butterflies. The first session was full and the students are already reporting back to us on how their caterpillars are doing! Be sure to register soon to reserve your space. The details can be found in the Calendar of Events below. 

We get a lot of questions about this plant. It is old fashioned Lychnis coronaria, rose campion. We have it in deep pink and white. The leaves are silvery. Let some of it go to seed and you will have it in your garden forever. I have the white form in my courtyard and it glows at night.

I spent both of my days off in the garden. Pinching my asters and fall blooming perennials continues all during the month of June. Have you pinched your

Don’t forget to pinch your fall blooming asters in June. You have a few weeks left. And PLANT asters NOW for fall flowers that will feed our pollinators.

plants yet? I have so many spring blooming shrubs to prune. I planted cucumber and squash seeds, zinnia plants and seeds, and a pot filled with lemon herbs- lemon grass, ‘Lemon Gem’ marigolds, lemon verbena, and lemon thyme. I moved about 12 bales of spoiled hay to smother two new areas for more blueberries and pollinator flowers that will surround my new raised beds. And I did some weeding. I weed all the time, little bits of weeding as I wander the yard. But now my garden is so full that there are a lot less weeds and very little ground showing. I even did some watering- deep soaking that is. We haven’t had significant rainfall in a while and I want to make sure that my garlic, potatoes, and newly planted tomatoes are happy. I also watered my peas. They are just now beginning to produce sugar snaps- so late this year! But I planted them late and I am happily munching away every time I walk into the garden. I am harvesting my amazing

The 6 foot tall flowers of my lovage plants (perennial celery) attract beneficial wasps galore. This delicious culinary herb grows right in my veggie garden

crop of broccoli and am thrilled that I planted a second crop of lettuce. This is going to be a week of salads every day! I also did a lot of staking and tying up. Did you put your tomato cages on yet? Are you starting to prune out the suckers and tie them up? We still have plenty of our really strong, sturdy tomato cages that fold up flat at the end of the season. Once you have tried them, you won’t go back. We also have strong oak stakes. Our organic veggie seedlings are on sale at 25% off and they look great! Can’t you find room for just a few more peppers or tomatoes or tomatillos in your garden?

Don’t forget to harvest your garlic scapes. (Watch our facebook video to learn how, Click Here.)  They are the flower of your hard 

Share your garlic scape recipes with us on Facebook. We’ve got quite the discussion going there!

neck garlic trying to bloom. If you let them, it will take energy away from the garlic bulbs that are forming. Plus, garlic scapes are a gourmet delicacy. I have been using them in my meals for a few weeks now. Garlic is planted in the fall. Each clove becomes a head. It is harvested in July which will open up a spot in my garden for the nextcrop- usually pole beans and some more ‘Cocozelle’ zucchini squash. 

At the shop we continue to field tons of questions about critters eating our plants, insects, and diseases. We love to explain to folks that you must know the 

enemy. If you understand the life cycle of an insect, you can figure out the safest and most effective way to control it. Using organic products isn’t the only piece of the puzzle- timing is everything. This week we have gotten in a new animal repellant called Animal Stopper. It is made by the same company that makes Deer Stopper and it smells great! It is a compressed air sprayer (no aerosol!) and can spray upside down and sideways. It can last up to 30 days for rabbits, groundhogs, and other pesky animals that want to munch your garden. We recommend Deer Stopper as part of our Deer Blast program. You can sign up for a reminder every 3 weeks if deer are a problem for you. 

Happy Solstice- this Thursday is the longest day of the year! We are celebrating with Facebook Live at 5 (focusing on planting for pollinators) and our FREE elderberry workshop at 5:30. Be there! 

One can’t help but notice that the birds are singing at 4:30 am and the sun doesn’t set until almost 9 pm. Take full advantage of these glorious June days. This is that magical time of the year that we wait for. So much is in flower. Food and herbs are starting to be harvested. The pollinators are buzzing, the birds are having their babies, the butterflies are here. Enjoy! And be sure to stop in this week and take advantage of all of our wonderful workshops that we will be having to celebrate summer’s arrival. 

 
See you soon!
If you have aphids, don’t spray, release ladybugs! We’ve got them. 
#saveourpollinators

 

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P.S.
Sales this week:
 
All Astilbes on sale 20% off June 21-July 5th
 
All Organic Veggie seedlings 25% off