Watercolor by Val Littlewood 

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The Best BOMBs: Blue Orchard Mason Bees!

By Katie Vincent, Garden Hotline Educator

Honeybees may be cute, popular and extra fuzzy, but the real proboscis behind most of our region’s fruit crops is a completely different arthropod: the blue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria). Why Choose Mason Bees? Native to North America, mason bees get their common name from their habit of patching up naturally occurring holes with […]

Calendula

Celebrate the return of our cool season flowers!

Sue Hartman, Garden Hotline Educator ‘Tis the season for pansies, violas, calendula, and sweet alyssum. The weather is changing, the rains are returning and the nights are cooling off. This means those delightful spring bloomers that thrive in this kind of weather are also returning to our gardens. They will all easily self-sow and Calendula […]

A bumble bee in the garden

Planning New Garden Features

Winter is a good time to think about adding new features to your garden spaces. Consider bringing new life into the garden, in the form of chickens or bees. Both will help you have a more productive garden as they eat the bad bugs, manufacture soil enriching compost for your soil and pollinate your fruiting plants over the summer.

Anna's hummingbird silhouetted against a gray sky

Planting for Habitat

Laura Matter, Garden Hotline Coordinator Brighten your dark of winter outlook by envisioning the addition of colorful, diverse and productive habitat plantings to your garden for next season. Including certain plants that will attract parasitoid wasps, ladybeetles, bees, songbirds and even bats can help you to manage pest problems in the growing season and make […]