Pollinators and Flowers

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

In North America hummingbirds pollinate, in the southwest bats pollinate,  but most of all, insects pollinate. By far the most popular garden pollinators are hummingbirds and butterflies, but there are many other beautiful (in a less traditional way) pollinators including flies, bees, moths and beetles.

Many pollinators visit flowers for the nectar, such as butterflies, ants and honeybees, however many insects, including bumble bees and lady beetles, visit for the pollen, which they consume. Many plants have evolved different shapes and colors of flowers to attract certain types of pollinators. There’s a great episode about flowering plants in the wonderful David Attenborough show The Private Life of Plants, and you can see a clip of that episode here.

Pollinator Flowers

Hummingbird flowers have evolved into tubular shapes so that the bird, with their long bills, can…

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Diary of an Urban Wild Garden: The Beginning

Welcome to a new column feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide, the Diary of an Urban Wild Garden, where I plan to write about my wildlife garden in Seattle, the design, how it’s doing, what I’m currently doing, what I see and more. It’s about time I started this, as the garden is now in its third year. This first post is an overview of what the yard was like in the beginning, and what we’ve done so far.

Nearly three years ago we moved into our first house. Having lived in rentals and apartments, this was my first chance at putting my Landscape Architecture education into practice. It’s gone surprisingly well so far! When we moved in during the fall of 2012, we had a six month old baby and this was our first house. Steep learning curves on both fronts! The backyard had almost no plants; a lone forsythia…

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Book Review:: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

9781604693881lAs one who spends a fair amount of time crawling around my yard in search of interesting insects, I was, needless to say, excited to see a new book from Timber Press with the title Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. It’s written by horticulturist and self-proclaimed ‘bug lover’ Jessica Walliser. With a quick glance through the book, it’s easy to see it’s up to the typical high standard of Timber Press books and full of wonderful and inspiring images of beautiful bug-friendly gardens.

As this is not a typical sort of book that gardeners might be drawn to, (usually it’s more along the lines of how to get rid of bugs instead of attract them) Walliser makes several confessions in the introduction which states how she came to love…

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Foragings:: The latest news, resources and designs

News

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Foragings:: The latest news, resources and designs

News

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The Experience of 10,000 Crows

Every night from fall to spring, upwards of 10,000 crows fly from downtown Seattle and other surrounding areas to the University of Washington’s Bothell campus, located on the far north end of Lake Washington. They are here for their nightly roost, where all 10,000 of them, cawing and making a ruckus impossible to miss, gather together before descending into the wetland trees. There are several other crow roosts around the Puget Sound area, but none as large or magnificent as the Bothell roost.

Along with the University of Washington, Cascade Community College shares this campus and hosted a crow evening this past fall which included Audubon representatives on hand with bird information, crow hats for the kids, cider for all and a talk by crow expert Kaeli Swift.

I confess I’m a bit crow mad, as long-time readers may have gathered from past posts, Emerald City…

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