A talk about pollinator-friendly gardening

I’ve given lots of talks about pollinator-friendly gardening over the decades that I’ve been doing classes and presentations.  It’s a much more pertinent (and immediate) topic today than it was when I began sharing thoughts about it.

Driving down the Blue Ridge Escarpment tomorrow to speak to the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs — I’ll be doing my regular encouraging talk about including more native perennials, shrubs, and trees that support pollinators in your garden, I’m pondering the topic again.

I think in some ways that this is largely a message for folks who are already gardeners, who are more easily encouraged around pollinator-friendly plantings than novice gardeners, although the message is the same.

At a meeting this afternoon related to pollinator-friendly gardening (one of the many initiatives of a local non-profit), a visitor who participates in the Blue Ridge Naturalist Program at the NC Arboretum related a recent experience in a class where a participant in the program didn’t know what a bumblebee was.  Discouraging, to say the least. But, this person wanted to learn after all, so that’s great.

Hey, I didn’t know much about native bees until a couple of decades ago, as I participated in a symposium organized by my best friend from graduate school — a pollination biologist like my hubbie.

Steve Buchmann, one of the authors of Forgotten Pollinators (published in 1996) was a speaker.  He talked about the 4000+ native bees here in North America.  It was a revelation to me.

And I always remember my mom, in her years of disability, when she watched a lot of documentaries on PBS, asking me once on our daily phone calls:  Lisa, did you know bats were mammals?  Well, I did, but I was glad she had learned that.