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Beneficials/Pollinators

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Citizen Scientists Help Parse the Native/Nativar Debate

by Jessamine (Jessa) Finch

As pollinators lose ground, we’ve been urged to create more pollinator-friendly gardens, but are all pollinator gardens created equal? A team at the Chicago Botanic Garden has developed a project to evaluate native and nativar support of pollinators by gathering data on pollinator preferences across the country. You can become part of the research team.

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Wildflowers of Summer

by Carol Gracie Unlike spring, when most people are eager to get out in the woods to look for the first wildflowers of the year, summer tends to be a time of vacations, beach trips, family gatherings, and other pleasant diversions. Our many beautiful summer wildflowers are often overlooked, or only perceived as blurs of…

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Managing Land for Pollinators and Conservation Biocontrol

by Emily May Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into the landscape for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for pesticides. Farm landscapes can provide food and shelter for pollinators and other beneficial insects, boosting populations of these insects…

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Planting for Pollinators

by Jack Brodie, James Hitchmough, and Michael Livingstone There is a crisis in the UK, and many other developed countries, in the decline of a wide range of insects that visit flowers to gather nectar and pollen. The Twentieth Century saw major population declines, range contractions, and local extinctions of many wild insect pollinators such…

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The Role of Native Cultivars in the Ecological Landscape: Evaluating Insect Preferences and Nectar Quality in Phlox and Its Cultivars

by Keith Nevison Take a trip to your local nursery and head to the native plant section. Do you come across any cultivars of native plants (“nativars”) among their offerings? Do you wonder if these selections offer the same level of ecological benefits to native wildlife as their straight species counterparts? As a landscaper, how…

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Book Review: Pollinators of Native Plants

Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants Written by Heather Holm Published by Pollination Press LLC, Minnetonka, MN, 2014 Reviewed by Bruce Wenning Heather Holm is an experienced native plant landscape designer and restorationist. Her well-written book includes over 1600 color photographs and drawings that encapsulates her devotion to native plant…

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The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge: Will You Accept?

by Matthew Shepherd The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) is a newly created partnership of organizations involved with pollinator conservation, wildlife gardening, and gardens. The network was initiated as part of the White House’s National Pollinator Strategy released earlier this summer. It draws together nearly two dozen nonprofits and organizations with a shared aim, to make…

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