Monday, June 6, 2016

Put a Blanket On It!

Looking to attract more pollinators to your garden?

Consider blanket flower - in this case, the hybrid Gaillardia x grandiflora, a cross between G. aristata (native to the Western U.S.) and G. pulchella (native across the Southern U.S. all the way from Arizona to North Carolina).

I believe this is a green metallic sweat bee (Agapostemon genus)

A bumblebee visits a blanket flower.

A small bee and an even smaller bee share the same blanket flower.

This big guy (or gal) is a carpenter bee - like a bumblebee, only bigger, shinier and buzzier.
See those fuzzy balls in the background? Those are the spent flowers! They're so adorable that there's no need to deadhead. And besides, I believe the seeds are attractive to little birds (e.g., goldfinches). Blanket flower has a reputation of being a little short-lived, but in my garden, I've found that it reseeds gently , which helps it persist and even expand over time.


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