Mid-April Garden Notes

April 13, 2010 @ 7:56 pm | Filed under: Crows, Gardening, Nature Study

It has been troubling me in a quiet way that I’ve not seen many bees in the garden this spring: an occasional lone native bee, one carpenter bee, and that’s it. But just now I checked my archives and I see I was worried about the same thing in late April last year. The carpenter bee appeared in early May, and it wasn’t until mid-May that the honeybees began to dominate my posts and pictures.

Whew, then.

I did have sunflowers blooming last April, but the birds had planted those in February: overspill from the feeder. This year the feeder is in a different spot, shadier, unwatered, and I had to plant the sunflowers myself. They’re coming up nicely, taller now than Wonderboy, not as tall as Beanie.

The Monarchs arrived in late May, not long after I planted my anniversary milkweed. The milkweed is blooming nicely now, despite hordes of yellow aphids, but we’ve seen no trace of caterpillar nor butterfly yet.

Also in bloom: pincushion flower (just barely), nasturtiums galore, enough sweet alyssum to supply Rilla with endless bridal bouquets for her daily weddings, geraniums in red and pink, cornflowers, bougainvillea, ice plants in red and white and magenta, snapdragons, brown-eyed susans, thyme (whoops), cilantro (whoops), the cooking sage (whoops), and the other kind of salvia, loads of it, waiting for the bees.

Goldfinches, bushtits, purple finches, sparrows, hummingbirds, a phoebe, and the marvelous crows: our April birds. We saw a scrub jay on the sidewalk today, a block from home. I love jays, the cheeky, arrogant things. I wish they’d visit our yard more often.


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Comments

4 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. If it makes you feel better, we’ve had loads of bees. They love our the early spring holly blooms, but I’ve only seen two Monarchs. They usually cluster around our Chinaberry tree when in blooms in the spring. It hasn’t bloomed yet, so I’m hoping that it’s still just early. I hope to get milkweed in the ground before then. My husband wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the milkweed he found earlier this week and didn’t bring any home. He had three very angry people on his hands that evening. 😉

  2. Do you have mason bees? Up here they are the heralds of spring. We’ve got them buzzing around everywhere – literally.

  3. Everything looks and sounds so lovely! My nasturtiums are still just shriveled pebbles in their seed packet and my iceplant is just starting to think about waking up. I do see lots of honeybees buzzing around the blooming bushes.

  4. My brother took up bee-keeping as a hobby, which matches nicely with my hobby of gardening. He put a hive of mason bees back there for me. They have found not only my garden but my neighbors’, to their delight.