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Created a mason bee house two years ago... Must be working...every year I have gotten more and more mason bees. This year I have had to drill more holes for the 1st time in a year becuase
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they have filled all spots. Just put up a 2nd house as well.
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JBtheExplorer

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Created a mason bee house two years ago... Must be working...every year I have gotten more and more mason bees. This year I have had to drill more holes for the 1st time in a year becuaseView attachment 101819 they have filled all spots. Just put up a 2nd house as well.View attachment 101817 View attachment 101818
Nice! I've just been getting Potter wasps so far this year, unsure if native or not. I've seen bees go in, but they just use it as shelter and don't nest. I'm expecting Leafcutter bee activity to start picking up shortly.
 

JBtheExplorer

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So, my Monarda didyma turned out to be pink, unfortunately. I'll leave it in until I can slowly replace it. If wildlife usage is high, I'd consider keeping it, but I wanted red. I think I'll put some in my bog and see if it survives.
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The day I discovered it was pink, I went out to a local garden center and bought the last red one they had in stock. It's the 'Jacob Cline' variety. I generally stay away from hybrids or cultivars, but I'll make the exception since it's so difficult to find the red wild specie. It's only one stalk, so i hope it spreads quickly. I'm gonna need a lot of it.

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Meanwhile, my Monarda fistulosa is just beginning to bloom. At this point, my garden is basically 50 shades of Monarda.
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I've also began cutting down Smooth Oxeye, sadly. They've been completely taken over by powdery mildew and I want to limit that as much as possible. I may end up just removing them all together and finding something else that'll work in that spot. It's a setback to the section of garden I added last year, and I can't figure out why they have it so bad, but I never see that problem in the wild.
 

JBtheExplorer

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The 'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm is blooming! Pretty amazing. I'm definitely gonna want more of this in the garden.
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Blue Giant Hyssop is also blooming. Both are in the mint family.
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Green Sweat Bee on Purple Prairie Clover.
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...and currently the most colorful section of garden.
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Looking good JB... I Think I have a Mix of leafcutter bees and mason bees sharing my bee house. I put up a 2nd one an added more nesting tubes.
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MoonShadows

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Love seeing the pics of your gardens, @Nanner . We have a Purple Emperor Butterfy Bush that has started flowering in the past week or so and it is doing it's job attracting butterflies. I should take some pics if we get sun today.
 

addy1

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I have found out those butterfly bushes grow everywhere! They are popping up everywhere in my yard. A few I have to cut down, but the critters love them.
 
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I have found out those butterfly bushes grow everywhere!
They are considered an invasive species in some parts of the country. They die back to the ground in our garden every year, but I can see with how quickly they grow in one season that they would become a real problem in a short period of time in an area where they grew year round.
 

JBtheExplorer

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Butterfly bushes are evil and invasive.

That's why I plant Butterflyweed. :)


While I was away camping, my native garden became a lot more colorful and alive. Once the Wild Bergamot blooms, the pollinator activity picks up.
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My Swamp Milkweed is looking phenomenal, too!
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Great Golden Digger Wasp on Butterflyweed.
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Red Admiral on Purple Coneflower
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Earlier tonight I found this group of long-horned bees on a Grey-headed Coneflower.
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JBtheExplorer

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Beautiful! I need to add some butterfly weed to my garden.
Grows easily from seed after a 30 day cold/moist period. Can flower first year, and will get bigger the following two or three years. I'm planning on adding more and more until my garden is full of them.
 
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Grows easily from seed after a 30 day cold/moist period. Can flower first year, and will get bigger the following two or three years. I'm planning on adding more and more until my garden is full of them.
Oh! Good to know! I will try wintersowing them this year and see what results I can achieve!
 

MoonShadows

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Butterfly bushes are evil and invasive.

That's why I plant Butterflyweed. :)
As I mentioned above, I never knew this. I just read an article from Rodale Organic Life that talked about how butterfly bushes are not only invasive, they also are bad for 2 other reasons:

1. Butterfly Bush Doesn't Really Benefit Butterflies. When it's the only plant you grow for butterflies, you're not going to have butterflies anymore. What butterflies are desperately in need of are proper host plants so they can reproduce, and their larval offspring can feed on host plant leaves. Better choices for butterflies would be: butterfly weed, dandelion, red clover, goldenrod, poison ivy, jerusalem artichoke, milk weed, queen anne's lace, thistle, joe-pye weed, and oak trees.

2. Butterfly Bush Is Contributing To The Collapse Of Food Webs. Planting nonnative plants, like butterfly bush, in your yard is actually making it harder for the butterflies and birds in your neighborhood to survive. For instance, if you want chickadees to breed in your yard, you need plants that will produce to support the 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars the birds need during the 16 days when they are feeding their young.

One-third of plants in North America aren't actually native to North America. Eighty percent of plants in our yards aren't native. This is creating non-native ecosystems that are not supporting food webs and therefore not supporting bio-diversity.

This chart from Prairie Nursery

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j.w

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Oak trees? I planted one of these a couple years ago, well actually a squirrel planted it and I moved it to a better spot. So it must get some kind of little blooms on it that the butterflies like?
 

MoonShadows

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I was surprised to see Oak trees, too. Oak trees are good for some varieties of butterflies because the larvae can use them as host plants and feed on oak trees.
 
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MoonShadows

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I want to start planting more wild flowers that are native and both butterfly and bee friendly (some that I have already are, but not by design). This year I bought a lot of seeds from Vermont Wild Flowers without really knowing if they were butterfly or bee friendly. This winter, I am going to concentrate more on flowers that are butterfly and bee friendly from Vermont Wild Flowers.

http://www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com/butterfly-garden.html

http://www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com/attract-honey-bees.html
 

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