Mason Bees in my garden

I enjoy nurturing the native bees and providing nesting homes for them. Since we have five fruit trees, four blueberry plants, 50 strawberries and multiplying raspberries, my garden keeps these bees working. I like them because they work in the rain, unlike other pollinators. I have some cute bee houses and some practical, jury rigged ones and they both do the job.

The wire one above is what I will explain. Mason Bee season here in the Puget Sound lowlands runs from about March 15 when you put them out until mid July when they are ready for storage. Recently I have learned about these predatory wasps that drill holes in the cardboard straws to lay their eggs, ultimately killing the developing Mason Bees. This year I am using white cardboard tubes placed in natural reeds, hoping to discourage the predatory wasps. The tan tubes with mud closures are the bees from 2017 and the white tubes are the nesting sites for 2018.


More fuchsias today

I wrote an article on hardy fuchsias for Westsound Home and Garden a few months ago and  during my research, I got really hooked on these plants. I always like to grow a few plants before I write because I like the first hand experience.    Before I moved west, I was only familiar with the annual types of fuchsias. How limiting was that! Here are a few more in bloom today.

Blueberry protection

I went away for one day this week and the crows must have known I was gone, because when I returned and did my morning rounds, I saw the tell-tale signs under the early fruiting cherry tree. Grrrr! They take one bite out of a cherry then drop the rest. Plus there was a mess of green leaves covering the grass. Time to spring into action. Now my strawberries and blueberries are covered with bird netting. Soon I will need to cover the grapes also. It is so ugly, but if I expect to get any fruit, it must be done. I also put flash tape around to startle the birds before they even consider landing. The last thing I want is to see would be birds tangled up in the netting.

Cherry damage!