Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Plant sunflowers. Help bees.

(This is not a picture of sunflowers, but this purple sage was not only on fire with sunlight this morning, it also sported one bumblebee and several honey bees...)

Idea for the Day: Plant sunflowers. Help bees.

Two things that seem like good ideas to me...planting sunflowers and helping bees, I mean.

Nancy McIntyre sent along this link to the Great Sunflower Project.

It offers ordinary gardeners a chance to participate in a study that is trying to track bee numbers. The site offers lots of good info about bees in general, including how to identify the more common ones in your garden, the fact that bee stings are over-hyped, and how to create a "bee garden." It is also very easy to sign up for the study, after which they will send you sunflower seeds (sometime next year, since it is too late to plant this year). Doing the study itself seems very easy, and requires only 30 minutes of your time.

It looks like some of the seeds they sent out this year failed to germinate, but hopefully they've got that worked out now. In any case, participation costs the gardener nothing but a clear spot in a sunny part of the garden.

Since they make an attempt to send sunflowers native to your region, I'm thinking that might be Maximillian sunflowers for us?

I signed up! I'm clearing out a spot for those sunflowers now! I'll be back in a minute...

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