Posts Tagged: UC Davis Arboretum
If you're thinking about adding more bee friendly plants to your garden but you're concerned about the drought, the UC Davis Arboretum has the answers.
The arboretum will host its public spring clearance plant sale on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive.
You'll find a large election of Christmas natives and Arboretum All-Stars. (Members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Botanical Society receive 10 percent off their purchases. And yes, you can join the Friends on May 17.)
One of the plants we like--as do the birds and the bees--is Kniphofia "Christmas Cheer," also known as a red hot poker and torch lily. Ellen Zagory, horticulture director of the Arboretum, describes it as "a torch lily on steriods. It gets big and puts out a large display of showy flowers in winter and long into spring."
Yes, it does.
We remember taking a photo of the Christmas Cheer on Christmas Day in the Arboretum's Storer Garden. The bees didn't know about the winter break. Neither did a finch.
Break? What break?
In a recent newsletter, Zagory wrote about some of the plants that will be available for sale.
“On campus we have fairly heavy soil and water that's high in bicarbonates and boron, so I always think…if it grows well here, it will do even better elsewhere. In light of limited water supplies and rising water prices we need to think even harder about plants that can survive with low or very low quantities of water, but they can still be pretty. You'd never know these were drought-tolerant considering the seasonal impact and drama they provide!”
The Arboretum kindly provides a list of available plants that you can download from its web page.
The bees--and the birds, butterflies and others engaged in animal/plant interactions--will thank you.
A honey bee, loaded with pollen, heads for Kniphofia "Christmas Cheer." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A finch likes the Christmas Cheer, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It was a bad day for a butterfly.
We stopped by the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, part of the UC Davis Arboretum, at noon today as triple-digit temperatures climbed to a scorching 103.
We spotted a few cabbage white butterflies (Pieris rapae) nectaring the Verbena (Verbena bonariensis), and a few honey bees on the gaura (Onagraceae).
The cabbage whites seemed to like the Verbena. They fluttered around the blossoms gracefully, touching down like snowy princesses in winged gowns and spiked heels, belying the fact that their caterpillars are pests of cabbage, kale, radish and broccoli, mustard and other members of the family Brassicaceae.
One cabbage white, however, wasn't so lucky.
As we rounded a corner of the garden, we noticed it wasn't fluttering. It wasn't moving. It wasn't doing anything.
There was a good reason why it wasn't going anywhere.
A hungry crab spider.
Crab spider with its kill, a cabbage white butterly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This one got away. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you love to watch pollinators at work in your garden--especially the honey bees and the bumble bees--first you have to provide the plants.
Promise yourself to plant pollinator plants periodically.
But which ones?
The UC Davis Arboretum staff gets asked that question a lot. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Arboretum has scheduled a Member Appreciation Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at its plant sales nursery on Garrod Drive.
Folks can become members on the spot, and the privileges are many. "Members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Botanical Society not only receive 10 percent off their plant sale purchases but they also receive an additional $10 of of their purchases at this sale," said Missy Gable, public engagement manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Arborteum prides itself on providing "the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants, including Arboretum All-Stars." Live music, free refreshments and children's activities are also planned that day.
Three more spring public plant sales are upcoming (folks can become members then, too):
- Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (clearance sale)
Here are some of the pollinator plants that will be available for sale:
- Salvia clevelandii, Cleveland sage
- Saponaria x lempergii ‘Max Frei’, hybrid soapwort
- Leucophyllum frutescens, cenizo
- Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Mozart’, Ed Carman’s rosemary
- Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, coronation gold yarrow
- Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’, little spire Russian Sage
- Dasylirion wheeleri, desert spoon
- Salvia chamaedryoides, Mexican blue sage
- Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’, azure bush germander
- Epilobium canum, California fuchsia
- Origanum ‘Betty Rollins’, Betty Rollins oregano
- Salvia microphylla, Graham’s sage
The plants above are among those showcased at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
And, have you heard about the UC Davis Arboretum Shovel Drive? At each of the plant sales, you can donate an old shovel, spade or trowel to the Arboretum for a campus/city sculpture project!
Just think, the garden tools you not longer need or want will be sculpted into something quite spectacular.
A honey bee navigating an azure bush germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bees are fond of Cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Black-faced bumble bee, Bombus californicus, heads for Cleveland sage, Salvia clevelandii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ah, what an intoxicating scent!
If you've ever been around the winter daphne, Daphne odora, cultivar "Aureomarginata," you know that its aroma precedes it.
You'll ask "What's that fragrance?" before you even see the showy pink-and-white blossoms and its green leaves edged in gold.
The winter daphne, an evergreen, is now blooming in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden on Garrod Drive, UC Davis Arboretum.
The Storer Garden is aptly named. Ruth Storer, Yolo County’s first pediatrician, loved gardening.
We think she would have liked the honey bee hovering today in the dappled shadows of the daphne. "Table for one, please!"
Table for one, please! A honey bee in the shadows of a daphne bloom at the Storer Garden, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Nature's Gallery, a ceramic mosaic mural installed in the UC Davis Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, is gathering lots of visitors--and lots of donors.
This amazing mural by the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program, directed by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick, is comprised of more than 140 tiles, all hand-crafted by students, staff, faculty and community members.
Earlier showcased in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., where it drew more than 300,000 visitors, it is now "home sweet home" in the UC Davis Arboretum.
The good folks at the UC Davis Arboretum are seeking donors for the remainder of the plants and insects depicted on the mural. It's sort of like "Adopt a Bug" or "Adopt a Plant." Donors' names, or names memoralizing loved ones, are engraved on the wall.
So, back to the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). The art work is beautiful, but no one has stepped forward to adopt it. Also available are the giant crane fly (Holorusia rubiginosa), the white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata), a scarab (Bolbelasmus horni), and the meadow spittle bug (Philaenus spumarius).
Our family scooped up the shining leaf chafer beetle (Paracotalpa puncticollis), but only because the honey bee (Apis mellifera), our favorite insect, was unavailable. "The honey bee was among the first to go," Ullensvang said. UC Davis alumnus Dr. Jonathan Bowman donated it in memory of his parents.
If you prefer plants to insects, there are a few plants available: acanthus (Acanthus mollis), Cypriot woundwort (Sideritis cypria), black mondo grass (Opiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'), and Euonymous or “Emerald ‘n Gold” (Euonymus fortunei). (See what's available.)
So, if you're looking for a perfect holiday gift (good cause and lasting legacy), there's an Argentine ant-donor tile that could have your name on it.
Unless, of course, you'd prefer the meadow spittle bug...
Kathleen Socolofsky, director of the UC Davis Arboreteum, at a ceremony honoring the donors. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Colorful plants and insects grace Nature's Gallery. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)