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Sage Advice

By MaryAnn Fink LIFE Exhibit/Curator Pollinator Junction Another featured plant collection in the annual areas at the National 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,

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 National 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

Pollinator Junction Day of Promise

A Day of Promise By MaryAnn Fink LIFE Exhibit/ Curator Pollinator Junction Today was a day of promise at the Museum of Transportation's Pollinator Junction--my promise to the park to make her a haven and hers to me that she'll do her best. The park is showing some inkling of all that is happening or maybe not happening where most eyes can't see! The wild quinine, a favorite of small bees and bee mimics has started to flower. Also the first bee balm flowers braved a windy wet day to offer her nectar to the newly arrived ruby-throated hummingbirds! Too cloudy and misty for much pollinator activity, but great for singing birds and laughing children! The annual beds are almost ready-third pitch and it's a home run! It's gone from flat gray mucky, gritty subsoil that was nearly dead and compacted to the point of airless, without any signs of insects, worms or aggregation to crumbly aerated soil with living and breathing activity. Below I've outlined my "new bed"

Pollinary Park’s Wild Quinine is Blooming!

The Pollinary Park at the Museum of Transportation is blooming. Our wild quinine attracts small bees and bee mimics! Come

Recology

By MaryAnn Fink, Pollinator Junction, LIFE Exhibit Curator A favorite word of mine is "Recology": localize, minimize, waste-less recycling...my way... as it applies to composting in the garden. Call it what ever, in its simple terms it's a "stop, chop and drop" mindset with garden debris, keeping a tight "in place" biocycle regardless of the time of year. Recology includes: Cutting back the garden in spring; Reducing a perennial plant's height mid-spring; Post-bloom deadheading, tree or shrub twig removal or weeding; Doing fall "top drop" of the summer annuals in September, putting it back in the garden. Recology can be done in various ways but it is always the same: STOP And "bee" sure you know what plant you are looking at before you consider any action. Know who it supports, its natural role and the purpose it serves in the chain of life. A perfect example the other day, on the edge of the path was a tiny unexpected pleasure. Mixed among some "wrong