Friday, June 28, 2013

EYA Bee Habitat: Sedum

 Our latest citizen scientist workshop took place at Oak Meadows Park where the Environmental Youth Alliance has planted two sections of bee habitat.  We added some sedum to the border, which had been grown and donated to the project. There is no water hookup, so Erin had to lug pails of water from a nearby garage in her car. We soaked the roots, as they had become dry and caked. Erin advised us to put some gritty soil under the plants before we put them in the soil. That's why this is a great version of sedum to put in a rock garden.

 According to an article called  A Succulent Story by Jocie Ingram, there are four kinds of native sedum in BC. I believe we planted Sedum oreganum or Spreading Stonecrop. Sedum is a plant I have grown to appreciate as a really good bee plant, especially in the the fall. There is a cultivar that I inherited called Autumn Joy that the bees go nuts for.

 The sod was not removed below this planting, nor was there any cardboard put down. The layers of soil and mulch are doing a good job of keeping down weeds, except at the northern edge of the garden, which is going to need some work.

 Of course, some weeds always find a way in to a planting eventually, so that is an inevitable part of our work.

After all the rain we've had this week the stonecrop should have a good start in their new bed and they will also be able to handle the hot dry weather that is predicted for the next few days.

This is also a great kind of sedum for green roofs, so it is worth growing some in your garden to spread around and give some love to our bees.

Here's a bonus:  In the Island Nature blog by Jocie and Dave Ingram, Dave has posted some tips on taking pictures of tiny bees with a digital SLR: Photographing Backyard Insects. Here's hoping we get some good bee photography weather soon!

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