We spent the weekend getting our little greenhouse in order after the winter. Even with our mild Pacific Northwest Winters, a greenhouse is still a helpful tool to growing all year round. The last of our winter kale, swiss chard and beets are almost done so now it is time for the spring planting which we start in the greenhouse.
In the Pacific Northwest, Spring is starting to spring up everywhere. It is easy to get bitten early by the bug when you see daffodils pushing through the warming earth this early. But even for those in cooler climates, this is a good time to get ready for the growing season. Here is a tick list of things that we love to do in February.
Spring is springing up in most places this time of year. That means that flowers are poking out of the earth, baby animals are being born (check out our new chicks), and bees are starting to buzz around. While you may think “bees” just means “honeybees”, there are many other insects out and about performing the very critical task of pollinating flowering trees, vegetable gardens and flowers. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have food.
Mason Bees, or Orchard Bees, are insect pollinators that are native to North America. These bees are different from the traditional honeybee and an important part of your local food and garden system. Besides being native to the U.S. and assumingly more prepared to deal with our climates and environments, they also do not require the same amount of care. They are also more efficient pollinators that other insects including honeybees!
Why mason bees?
- They are great pollinators and do wonders for your gardens
- They are easy to care for
- They don’t sting unless really, really, really threatened (which is great for people that are allergic to honeybee stings)
When Jason and I traveled to Europe last summer, we were inspired to see gardens growing on the walls of buildings in some major cities (appropriately named vertical gardens). Why should plants only be relegated to the ground?
We haven’t yet figured out how we may incorporate this into our sustainable living approach but I am now looking at the south facing side of our house with a different perspective.. And maybe the roof as well.
Here is some pictures and links to inspire you and then maybe you can give us some ideas on what we could do to Grow UP…