bog sage Salvia uliginosa blooms all summer,
attracting a wide range of pollinators such as
bees and this Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly.
18-24 is National Pollinator Week in the United States
and The Garden Guy is here to encourage you to get on
board. I’ve been a bee and I can tell you the job they
do is hard work. What it basically boils down to is no
pollinators, no food to eat.
experience at being a bee came courtesy of the Texas A
& M peach breeding program when I was a graduate
student a long time ago. After building makeshift, tent
type greenhouses over a few peach trees, we set about
removing the male flower parts of each and every flower.
busy as a bee work so famously referred to by the
Andrews Sisters came next as I was required to use a
tiny brush and apply pollen to each and every female
flower. Even with a couple of us bees in the greenhouse,
this became a laborious task.
is the scenario that goes on each and every year with
our farmers and ranchers as bees, wasps, butterflies,
birds and even bats carry on pollination and thus our
plant life, both fruits and seeds come into production.
the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah we
grew pick-your-own-strawberries and at the end of the
field, we had several honey bee hives or boxes. These
bees were immensely helpful in producing a crop of
strawberries and at the same time yielding a might tasty
course, once the strawberry season was over it was
necessary for us to have plants that were useful to the
bees throughout the other 10 months of the year. I think
we did a great job as just about every flower we grew,
native and non-native bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
relished. Believe me, Mother Nature also had our
backside to with wild natives in the thickets and forest
surrounding the garden.
we still have much of the summer to go and still time to
plant all sorts of flowers in our landscape for both
beauty and pollinators I would like to suggest salvias
also commonly called sages. There are so many great
salvias, natives, imports and hybrids that offer much to
the landscape. Most produce spikey flowers that stand
tall and erect creating excitement in the garden. Every
day I watch both hummingbirds and assortment of bees
visiting my salvias.
I was able to visit the trial gardens at Young’s Plant
Farm in Auburn Alabama. There were hundreds of people
from all over the country. The busy Interstate Highway
was within view and yet with all of that hustle and
bustle, there was something magical going on as bees
were visiting a new salvia called Big Blue.
Blue has been in the market in limited quantities this
year and is sure to be a hit for years to come. It is
the first seed produced Indigo Spires type salvia. This
represents one of the horticultural mysteries of life as
Pan American Seed is introducing this cross of Salvia
farinacea and S. longispicata to the industry in seeds.
To this point, it has all been by vegetative
love Big Blue as it looks so glorious with bountiful
blue spikes bringing in the bees and butterflies. But in
the meantime, know that salvias whether they be blue,
pink or red like the cherry sage, whether they are
annuals or perennials, they all will serve a wonderful
purpose to not only beautify but sustain bees,
butterflies, and hummingbirds.
hope you will not only Celebrate National Pollinator
Week June 18-24 but each and every day of our long