Osmocote Advertisement
Article ThumbWhat do the bees do in October?

What do the bees do in October?

If you have New England aster in your garden, they keep foraging like mad.

In my garden the bees were all over my ‘Hella Lacy’ aster this morning, and I was very glad to see them. My shorter asters have now stopped blooming and are going to seed, but ‘Hella Lacy’ is a late bloomer and I’ve seen it feeding monarchs in October fueling up for their trip to Mexico.


Article ThumbBringing in the Bees

I pay close attention to the plants in my garden that attract a lot of bees. I don’t know the names of all the bees in my yard, but I do know that bees hatch with the first crocus and no longer has the first species crocus opened than I see a bee hovering over it. That happens as early as late March and April.

It’s not until May that I start to see quantities of bees, and this time they’re buzzing around the catmint. I have three Nepeta ‘Blue Wonder’ and one N. ‘Six Hills Giant’. I would say that Blue Wonder is the bigger draw and it pulls in the bees all summer long. Cutting it back mid-summer encourages more bloom.


Article ThumbWhite for Fall

They used to say you’re not supposed to wear white shoes after the first of September but in the garden, white is the great new fall color, and at my house it’s absolutely au courant.

Almost overnight, the sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) that my neighbor planted on her side of the fence (but which has decided it likes my side better) burst into bloom. A few flowers arrived on the first of September, and a thrilling foamy white cascade of blossoms just one day later.


categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Blog
Bringing in the Bees

I pay close attention to the plants in my garden that attract a lot of bees. I don’t know the names of all the bees in my yard,


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Pathogens on Parade

Those of you who are regular readers of this column are no doubt already aware that actual horticultural content is not my ...


Article Thumbnail
Departments
From the Editor - SeptOct 2016

September has arrived. Sigh. Or perhaps you say whoopee! Whatever your response, there’s no denying the change of seasons is …


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Butterflies in February?

On a sunny winter day a few years ago, I strolled into our Palos-area garden looking for signs of snowdrops


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Not the Center of the World

Towards the end of February a startling fact was reported on the news. January, it turns out, had been the fourth warmest ...


questions

I have twelve beautiful blooming violet plants on my office desk, placed 12 inches from a light source that’s kept burning day and night. I water them from the bottom and let the water remain in the saucer.

No matter what I spray, I continue to have gnats and other insects in my soil. I also occasionally start to get yellow spots on the tips of the leaves and then the spots start going down the leaves. What’s going on here?

What is the largest tree that one can plant? We are trying to replace some 7- to 8-foot trees that were recently destroyed.

I have a dampish area with poor grass and moss that I would like to change to ground cover, but if I have only one plant, won’t it be boring? Can I get rid of the grass in winter or early spring?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement