It seems every day I find about five new web sites or posts that really make me excited, so I've decided I'm going to share them with you so you can enjoy them as much as I do!
I'm doing research on bulbs for bees and happened on this little beauty: A white fall crocus!: Colchicum speciosum album. The site is called White Flower Farm, a family-owned business in Connecticut. Another white flower that's caught my interest is a white Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica alba). Plant those scillas NOW for spring bee fodder. They are generous plants and will naturalize into your lawn--a bit too generous in the American midwest where Siberian squill is becoming invasive. I'm going to plant some white and cream spring crocuses as well. Now that the fall flowers are dying back I'm already looking at the online catalogues. Strewth!
I was looking for information on how to naturalize crocus buds into a lawn and found this delightful article by Jill M. Nicolaus with some really practical ideas. Spring species crocuses would be great naturalized around the edges of a community garden for extra bee forage.
Kate Bradbury has a larger budget than me for bee flower bulbs. I'm with her on skipping the daffodils. For those who are more adventurous, there are many fritillaria to choose from here at the Pacific Rim Nursery. I want one of each! Note the site hasn't been updated for awhile and it is unclear if they are still open.
As you can see from this wonderful cross section of a muscari, there is pollen in there, tucked away and the thing is each flower contains many florets for greater blossom density.
Of course, don't forget our little hummingbirds and pop in some crocosmia corms too.
This is a good webpage about bulbs for bees. It's in German, but the Latin and photographs help paint the picture. Check out those wild tulips. Those are the ones we should be planting. Drumstick allium equals Kugel-Lauch which translates as "ball leeks"? From the same website check out the lovely blue pollen of Siberian squill.
This is a good time of the year to save and dry hollow stems from plants you've cut back to use for bee hotels next spring. Here's another sample page from the book that shows you how the bees will use your dried plant stems. These are from Paul Westrich's book: Wieldbienen: die anderen Bienen. That's on my Christmas wish list.