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Old 10-11-2009, 06:21 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Georgia

Originally Posted by TheLorax View Post
Giggle. We must all be a cut above our peers.

That made me laugh. I have an older lady here in her 80's, she is a widow after being married 61 years. I keep an eye on her, help her around the yard and she and I argue constantly. She hates trees. Hates them, the messy things! Always wants me to cut them down, call a tree service, etc...I keep telling her I won't and she can't so she's stuck with them. She says my yard "looks like a jungle" (insert disapproving frowny face) and I tell her that I'll let her breathe the oxygen my trees make. She's sweet, and we get along great but boy would she love me to hack at her trees!

Gloria - my landscaping is pretty new so I don't have a lot yet. Vitex is blooming, covered in bees and butterflies. Hummingbirds just finished leaving but they loved it as well. Also, some huge Camellia oleifera - Winter's Star was already on this property when I moved in and I left it, non-native but non-invasive. It has an amazing number of (single) flowers and it's loaded with bees, butterflies.

Groundsel Bush (Baccharis halimifolia) is covered with buds. According to Native Plants for Georgia: Shrubs this plant can be invasive. I've watched it closely for two years and it's has not moved an inch, no seeding. I'm hoping it behaves as this has been a great bee shrub in early winter. Not a pretty plant but in the brown of winter when it flowers it's a delight.

Mahonia x media - Charity (hybrid) is something I had previously which was outstanding for bees. Bloomed far earlier than Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape and didn't run around so much. I have not planted either here yet and am not sure what I will do. Mahonia has been an important wildlife plant for me. Just not bealei!!
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #12
Rock Star
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Piedmont area NJ USA

Sorry about the aster suggestion, I didn't see the asters on the original list.

The only 2 other plants I have blooming now that attract bees are the native honeysuckle vine, Lonicera sempervirens, and they use a backdoor method with this one because the plants are tubular and perfect for hummers not bees. The bees make a hole at the base of the flower and get in that way. So it's more work for them but sometimes there are lots of holes so they do use it but not a vine you would think of as a real strong bee plant.

I have replaced most of the hostas in my yard with Heuchera villosa and although this plant is native to the southeast and a little out of my native plant range it is one fall bloomer for the edge the woods. It definitely attracts bees, in fact the beautiful wands of white of bottle brush flowers are covered from morning to night.
It blooms from August to October in full sun to part shade.
I couldn't find the straight species. I have a cultivar called "Autumn Bride" that very effectively attracts bees. Other cultivars like Caramel and Brownies do not bloom like the Autumn Bride and are not worth the space.
I was sold a mid-western species of heuchera called H.richardsonii, that looks like and blooms at the same time as the H. villosa, but I suspect it is really a villosa mislabeled.
Does anyone have experience with the western H. richardsonii to confirm bloom time?
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:15 PM   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2008

No experience with the western species from me. I do have H. richardsonii. Sorry willo.
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we have been taught."
-Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:58 PM   #14
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Milwaukee

Bees are welcome by me. What would the top 3 native bee plants be for somebody like me with very limited space?
It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
~ Napoleon Hill
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:56 AM   #15
Rock Star
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Piedmont area NJ USA

Lorax, I thought the H.richardsonii was a western native heuchera?
When does yours bloom? and what do your blooms look like?
The photo shows what I think is villosa but bought as richardsonii looks like in early October.
So which do you think it is?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:14 AM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Piedmont area NJ USA

Dirty Knees how limited is your space?
What kind of space is it?

I always like asters for bees in the end of seasons garden.
Even the really tall New England (novae-angliae) asters can be cut back 2 or 3 times during the summer and thinned to fit in a really tight space. But the New York asters (novi-belgii) can be as short as 12".
Then there are the all the wood asters for the edge of a woodland in a loose and wilder garden.
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