One of the perks of my excessive gardening is having a lot of hummingbirds and butterflies around. For the most part, I have not been deliberate about what I plant to attract them. But I like bright tropical colors, so I am probably naturally selecting plants that pollinators also like. And I am militant about organic gardening, so our property is an island of safety in a sea of routinely chemical-bombed Florida golf course lawns.
Even so, I started thinking about ways I could attract more of these creatures this morning. One of the articles I read mentioned providing shelter for bees and hummingbirds within your garden. And that had me reading about bee hotels.
Bee hotels are essentially a mass of hollow reeds (like bamboo) clustered together to be used as homes for solitary bees. I’m not sure that I am actually going to get (or make) one of these, as I can see it attracting things that I do not want around our house (like wasps, or any of the dire insects Florida is famous for).
My research on bee hotels led me to a most fascinating gardening blog that I thought I would share here: Garden Myths. This blog is like the show Mythbusters, but with gardening. The author experiments with or investigates all of the random claims about gardening that dart around the Internet. For example: Does planting seeds in ice cream cones work? I have seen this suggestion on so many DIY sites and thought, um, wouldn’t the cone melt as soon as you water it? Turns out, it’s an even dumber idea than that… Imagine all your seedlings covered in thick mold.
And then there is this fun post on all the various illnesses gardeners can pick up from working in the soil. It’s endless entertaining (and very informative) reading.