Thursday, October 15, 2020

Autumn Herbs for Pollinators: Riley Park Community Garden Fall Tour Part 3


Mints! Those square-stemmed plants that pump our nectar are very important for pollinators.

Yee haw! It's a lavender Rodeo!  The few remaining lavender blossoms are much sought after by bumble bees and honey bees and the other day I even saw a hummingbird in my own lavender plants sipping the sweet fragrant nectar.

Balkan Sage is much loved by long-tongued bees and the bumble bee gynes can fill up with nectar on the blossoms that persist into fall. You can find in in our pollinator border.

Marigolds! Selina has found a variety with the large flowers and single petals. These are a fall favourite for bees and much better to plant than the frilly double varieties that lack food for pollinators.

Nasturturtiums!  Hummingbirds LOVE them and they do seem to perk up in the fall and go to the frost in a blaze of glory. Make sure to plant the ones with the nectar spurs on the back.

Garlic Chives! These are the last of the alliums to bloom and they produce lots of nectar for hungry honey bees and bumble bees. This honey bee's baskets are overflowing with a sticky golden pollen. 

There may be a few chives blooming here or there, but still lots of alyssum in bloom to feed syrphid flies, and tiny wasps and bees.

Fireweed! Yes, fireweed is a culinary and medicinal herb. There are a few blossoms left providing sweet nectar and a beautiful tea pollen.

Borage! When you've got it self-seeding in your garden, some plants will bloom into October. I call it "bee porridge" because it pumps out nectar every few minutes. This honey bee also has collected some white pollen.

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