I noticed this morning that Orion is just up in the pre-dawn. The school buses began running today in Tangipahoa Parish and on Tuesday we passed the Cross-Quarter day between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox. Fall will be here so very soon. Yay!
As the seasons pass, it makes me think of how we have been watching the movement of the pollinators through the nursery here at Louisiana Growers during the year.
We started the year with all the bees and wasps and the butterflies and moths busy as . . . well, you know…. on the first bloomers: the hollies. Dahoon Holly, Yaupon Holly, Possumhaw Holly, and the others were just the center of activity in the nursery. Especially the male seedlings! This was a sight and sound that attracts humans as well. And the native Blueberries and Lyonia shrubs of the Ericaceae were in full bloom and are getting their share as well. It always amazes me how there can be five of a kind of blue wasp that one doesn’t remember seeing before just feeding away on these native species and you think “where did these come from?”
Then, late spring comes and all the Viburnums are flowering and that’s where the crews are.
Early summer arrives with the Big Two, Cyrilla and Buttonbush. Every bee on the place is on Cyrilla. By now the butterfly populations are up and there can be dozens on our patch of Buttonbush. You notice a few feeding, but then the irrigation cycle comes on in that block and the numbers just boil out in wet disappointment. Way cool!
Summer was a surprise this year with two species I had not paid much attention to as we only have a few in stock: Clethra and the summer-blooming native Swamp Azalea. Both were carefully worked by both bees and butterflies. The sweet fragrance of both fills the air. Note to design: these two native woodies are perfect companions in the landscape environment because of their habits and habitats.
Late June and July bring the Mallows into bloom and the crowds come here. Three species of the Genus Hibiscus and its cousin Kosteletzkya are in this photograph and all are attended.
Watch closely and you’ll notice the predators at work on the flowers as well waiting on the pollinators to fly in.
And as I will always close: