My focus in our gardening efforts here has mostly been on food. Trying to figure out ways to feed ourselves sustainably in a planet gripped by crisis on numerous fronts. Sometimes I fail to see the forest for the trees when I get too wrapped up in worrying about the future. It's funny to me now to think back to our first year here and how I got frustrated with Nikki for spending so much of her labors on ornamental plants and flowers. As my knowledge base has grown so has my understanding of the benefits those blooms and bushes bring to our home; not only for their beauty and having access to fresh cut flowers throughout the warm season for our pleasure, but for the support they offer to so many beneficial insects, whose presence is critical to our success at being able to harvest anything at all out of our haphazard gardens.
|The First Crocuses poke up through the oak leaves 4/4/13|
Some beneficial insects, such as the very tiny wasps that prey on pesky caterpillars when they are larvae, need nectar from flowers as adults to thrive and reproduce. Providing nectar, pollen, shelter, and access to moisture ensures that a variety of beneficials will be present in the garden. The monthly What's In Bloom series of posts is dedicated to observing the blossoming of all the plants that provide their nectar to attract and support our army of insect farm workers.
Early April offers only crocuses for color as few hardy wild plants shake off the frosts and show a hint of green.
Heavy Spring rains and finally some sunshine have coaxed a few more blossoms to open. We are not sure what to call the one above, but it is quite pretty.
And finally the hyacinth are out at the very end of the month.
Trout Lily (Erythronium) bloom all along the north east side of the house, under the white oaks and black walnuts trees.
Some daffodils and a couple of tulips came up on the south side of the house along with a small scattering of dandelions. That's it for the early pollinators, next month things really get moving in our efforts to provide season long blooms to our beneficial insect friends.