“Bee”-ing: Functional Horticulture
by MaryAnn Fink Pollinator Junction LIFE Exhibit/Curator Nature is the best design collaborator! Unlike me, She is able to work tirelessly! According to a most inspiring and renown sustainable architect Sim Van der Ryn, "since the "Back to Nature" movement of the 60's there has been a challenge to design "smart" rather than accept the romantic notion of living off the land." I believe we have do both live smart and give back to the land so that we can support LIFE. Isn't that really romantic? What does that mean for "sustainable" landscape design when we are clearly entering into a crisis of supporting an ever expanding human population with a dwindling pollinator population? This push to help pollinators may "bee" the moment in history when sustainable gardening truly take off and mainstreamers begin to understand what we as environmental horticulturists embrace, the future is "functional horticulture"! I always want to be a promoter of an environment that
By MaryAnn Fink LIFE Exhibit/Curator Pollinator Junction Another featured plant collection in the annual areas at the Museum of Transportation's Pollinator Junction, is Salvia. Annual salvias are some of the showiest, most deer resistant plants and are most importantly strongly favored by pollinators including hummingbirds, some butterflies and several busy bees! Salvias have many Missouri native representatives. These other family members are featured in other parts of the park but for the ever-blooming deer resistant annuals, I have choosen Blue Anise Sage, Salvia gauranitica Black and Blue, Mealycup Savia 'Victoria' which is a selection of our American native, Salvia farenacea and Scarlet Sage, Salvia coccinea. These sages are so beautiful that if I had to choose only two plant families to "bee" the foundation for the Pollinator Junction LIFE Exhibit's inventory-I think I would of course choose milkweed family (Asclepia) and salvia's family, Lamiaceae!
BEE HAPPY and Butterfly Kisses
By MaryAnn Fink / LIFE Exhibit Curator The mind's eye trickery I deal with is confusing to me even still in my silver years. What I see at the pollinary park at the Museum of Transportation is so beyond this immature reality. I thought after talking to my friend April perhaps trying to share a peek into my vision might "bee" a way to share my view of the annuals. I hope to fill the pollinator pantry's gaps with nectar and pollen and even some butterfly baby food. This is what I see as its possible future: "Bee"-cause the tall majestic Cannas offer a wind buffer and hummingbird nectar, I have congregated groupings of the new Tropicana Gold and the dark beauty, the original Tropicanna. Their beautifully striated leaves are not typically deer candy. They also have the slight potenial to return next year if its a mild enough winter ( so very cost effective potential) . Cannas can "bee"come a lovely and subtle color echo for the other neighboring annuals featured in the
Busiest Pollinator Transporters
By MaryAnn Fink, Pollinator Junction, LIFE Exhibit Curator Who are the "primary" pollinators most likely to visit the LIFE Exhibit at Pollinator Junction Park? Let's meet them and nine groups of "primary pollinators," and their most recognizable ambassadors. Our pollinator "ambassadors" are good representatives of a group of pollinators. They are the most familiar, most efficient, most common, least aggressive, sometimes truly unique or just the easiest to recognize "pollen transporters." These pollinators are also the easiest to attract to our flowers. They need a place to eat and "bee" safe in our landscape. These all can "bee" fun to watch and welcomed part of our neighborhoods! These "pollination pros" also do most of the work of pollinating! These are our Pollinator Junction's Pollinator Pantry Ambassadors: 1) Butterflies and Skippers, the ambassadors: Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Silver-spotted Skipper ( Epargyreus clarus) 2) Nectar Moths