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I am always thinking of pollinators and what plants I can plant in zone 6 that will increase the level of pollinators in my neighborhood, so I had to check on the Pollinator Project this morning.  This was my view on this President’s Day.  20160215_071048.jpg

A little snow event 3 – 6 inches with a touch of freezing rain and ice is predicted.  Not what I wanted for a day like today, but it is better than the 30+ inches I had a few weeks ago.  Spring, Oh Spring, where art thou???  It is okay, because today allowed me a little more time to work on how I will make every effort to increase the pollinator plants selection for the Pollination Project Park, a beautification effort of The Garden Coalition in District Heights, Maryland.wp-1455563306819.jpegOne of the best resources that I have found to assist me in this process is from Miriam Goldberger of Wildflower Farm, www.wildflowerfarm.com.  Talk about a knowledgeable person who has been in the wildflower business for over 25+ years.  I have always loved meadows, fields of mixed plants that to me are alive with the activities of the pollinators.  If you pause and look closely at meadows, naturalistic fields or even along roadside plantings, you will notice a wealth of activity via the butterfly’s and bees.  Get close, if you can – or just stand quietly in a meadow, you will hear them happily at work.  There is nothing better than listening to life happen from my very own front yard meadow…wpid-20150630_192545.jpg

Wildflowers are a goldmine to the Monarch butterfly. It is on the milkweed that they lay their eggs prior to their winter retreat in the warmer climate of Mexico.  The efforts to plant milkweed have not gone unnoticed, however we also have to plant nectar plants as well.  The nectar plants provide fuel for this long journey away from the cold. Nectar can be found in many of the native plants throughout North America. Miriam Goldberger has written an awesome book called, Taming Wildflowers – Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Natures Blooms Into Your Own Backyard ( St.Lynne’sPress).  Such a David book for the goliath topic of Wildflowers!  I dare say that information pertaining to pollinators, as well as wildflowers, that I never knew, I found in the pages of this book.

Miriam shares her tale of falling in love with native plants and wildflowers at the beginning of this book and then in 8 power packed chapters, she captivates the reader on topics such as Non-Native Must Haves, Making Babies (my second favorite chapter), DIY Wildflower Wedding Experience (awesome)  and Your Wildflower Design Studio (my FAVORITE chapter).  One of my favorite things is going into the meadow, selecting whatever wildflower catches my eye, organizing my thoughts on its application in my arrangement, finding the perfect vase and creating a naturalistic floral fantasy to enhance my surroundings. In the chapter, “Your Wildflower Design Studio”, Miriam explains the process of slowing down and breathing, savoring the moment, organizing as you select as well as setting up your design space, preparing to play and then the design basics. I can tell you that when creating your vision of beauty, rushing through or just throwing them in a vase is certainly NOT an option.  Taming Wildflowers also includes an appendix of best wildflowers and grasses by soil type. If your interest is in creating your own meadow or wildflower spot, you NEED this book. You will not be disappointed.

As the snow continues to fall on my beloved Pollinator Project, I am daydreaming about what plants I NEED to have,  how I will include them in my garden design and how grateful I am that Miriam Goldberger took interest in a topic enough to write a book on how we can become better stewards of this land and our pollinators!  Thank You Miriam!!

Encourage the use of native plants in your community. Need Resources? Check out the following links:

www.wildflowerfarm.com or www.tamingwildflowers.com

 

 

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