Today's posting is on rare wild gardens. Wednesday I had the pleasure of accompanying biologist Rick Riefner to visit a unique mima mound habitat and to see one of the four known populations of the rare Eryngium pendletonense (Pendleton button celery). With us were State Park Natural Resource staff Lana Nguyen and David Pryor, and biologist David Bramlet.
Our first stop was at the mima mound site situated on a small parcel of remnant open space between a group of high end condominiums and San Clemente State Beach Campground. Mima mounds are frequently associated with vernal pools and I learned that because of an impervious hard pan subsoil and ponding between mounds during good rain years, these site are often refuges for rare plants and animals which have adapted over eons to colonize and survive in these rare and isolated environments.
Here at this site introduced non-native grasses have covered all of the mounds and some of the moister valley regions connecting the mounds. Rick and Dave did find a few vernal pool indicator species and there was discussion and enthusiasm for a potential restoration project. Asleep under the aggressive and dominating grasses might survive a viable seed bank waiting for the necessary open habitat to be created. Could a healthy mima mound habitat be resurrected?
Next we drove just a bit south to San Onofre State Beach. Here we checked on a population of the very rare Eryngium pendletonense (Pendleton button celery). According to Rick and the CNPS website this is the northern most of only four places in the world where this plant grows.
Here we also visited a mitigation site where the military is attempting to restore and create vernal pool habitat. Eryngium seem to be having nothing to do with the vernal pools but are pretty happy in the protected seasonally moist swales nearby. We did get to see the miraculous and fascinating fairy shrimp who like their floral ecological relations can survive for decades in the dried soils waiting for sufficient ponding for them to restart their tiny short lives. More information and a better photo here.
While happy campers and surfers enjoy the beautiful beach below I was happy to spend time with these good folks who are helping to care for our regions rich biological resources. Not a bad gig though.
A Place of Refuge
Outside it is wet but the rain has stopped. Birds are hopping about in their ever hungry state looking for food in this calm between storms. While it is mid February, the dead of winter in many parts of the U.S., here in Southern California we are enjoying a double bounty of green following 5 years of drought and below average rainfall. This is ‘normal California’.
But despite the much needed rain and all the green something seems not quite so normal. Driving along Gilman Springs Road recently I looked up to see carpets of poppies blooming on this foothill spur of the San Jacinto Mountains. Mid February I pondered is pretty darn early a bloom time even for poppies.
At home in my native garden my prickly phlox is in full bloom, my Bermuda grass lawn, which should be dormant and brown, is green and growing; my peach tree is in full bud and starting to flower, and it seems wind machines in the citrus orchards are now a necessity of the past. With the regions milder climate we even have folks planting avocado orchards in Hemet - a business venture which only twenty years ago would have been considered a rather foolhardy undertaking. These times they are a changing, I feel it and I see it; to what end and at what consequence, I am not sure. But I, like many others, worry about such things.
Still, in my garden, life abounds and all is good; all is peaceful, orderly and safe providing me a refuge and temporary shelter from the troubles, so close and so present on the other side of my fence. So today I give to myself. No Facebook, no Syria, no Russia, no Trump. No protest letters to senators or listening to news pundits with their feeble attempts to interpret the selfish, shortsighted, irrational human behavior so prominent in our country right now. I give myself this one day of peace, this one day to reflect on my garden.
In the recent Alta Peak chapter newsletter of the California Native Plant Society President Melanie Keeley encouraged readers to [in planting native gardens] “create habitat, restore your land. Then watch and wait, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.” https://altapeakcnps.org
Melanie is so right. It truly is a wonderful experience to observe life happening in your own garden, happening in a natural organic transformative sort of way. In nature we find both peace and inspiration. For it is here that we find that we are not in charge, we have no responsibility, no duties, and no decisions to labor over. We can just be, just watch and wait. Traditional man made landscapes, as wonderful as they can be, are controlled and static. When something dies nothing will replace it unless we do; we decide how much water, how much pruning, what plants should grow here, which there. If we neglect our non-native landscapes for long they soon expire, dependent as they are upon us. Native gardens however, while not quite nature, are still so much more dynamic. Depending on how local the source of our garden palette the native garden can be quite self-healing and self sustaining. A pleasure palace to play in. A theater to engage in. A wonder to watch evolving and transforming itself through the years.
This season in my garden I have plenty going on to be excited about. In our urban Hemet garden I have seedlings of Boechera californica (California rock cress) coming up from plants grown from seed which I collected from a local canyon. A penstemon which had died out two year back is being replaced by a volunteer seedling. And I happen to have a new Abutilon palmeri (Palmer's Indian mallow) which happened to germinate and grow in a very fortuitous open spot next to its mother. My garden is not exactly how I intended it to be, but how it is intending itself to be. I am learning to work as more of a partner in the process of my garden’s becoming.
Another local plant I will try to get started in my garden will be Mimulus brevipes (wide throated yellow monkey flower), which I am growing out in my seed regen boxes. I am also excitedly anticipating the flowering and fruiting of my poppy and chia bowl. The decadently deep blue Salvia columbaria (chia) is from seed which I collected last year from plants native to our local San Jacinto River. The Eschscholzia californica (California poppy) are a wonderfully large flowering pure yellow strain which I collected from my mothers garden. When these go to seed I will harvest them for the front native garden, to watch and to wait, and to see what happens.
While I love my urban Hemet garden I am ecstatic about my Three Rivers Blue Oak Woodland garden. With almost 1.25 acres there is lots of area to restore and enjoy. Amongst the ubiquitous non-native brome grasses this very green winter I am happy to find Madia elegans (spring flowering media), Brodiaea elegans (harvest brodiaea), Chlorogalum pomeridianum (soap root), Phacelia cicutaria (caterpillar phacelia), and a few lupine species. One local native, (Lupinus benthamii - spider lupine), I am hoping to get reestablished from local seed I collected, grew out to bulk up the seed last year, and planted out last month.
For the longest time I have also desired to get the locally showy and fragrant Lupinus albifrons (silver bush lupine) established on our property. However, being out of town I always seem to miss that very narrow window of opportunity to collect seed. Finally up on the Salt Creek road last year my timing was right and I was able to get a small seed collection to grow out. I think with bush lupines younger plants will establish better so these plants will go out this march with a prayer for a cool spring, a late summer, and time to get at least some temporary irrigation in.
A more adventurous endeavor I am undertaking and which I am particularly excited about are the Monardella villosa (coyote mint) plants I am growing. These charming fragrant natives are common along High Sierra trails and have always enchanted me. Last season I sampled a few along one of these trails and this fall I had fairly good germination success. I have never seen these in the trade or other gardens so I am none too confident that they will thrive in our hot Kaweah lowlands. But with a bit of afternoon shade and a little extra water in the summer…. maybe? Then when I am tired from world affairs or the days news I can pay them a visit, pinch a leaf or two and inhaling their invigorating minty fragrance feel right with myself and the world again.
Other hopeful additions which I am propagating for our shady front planter areas are the tall and elegant Thalictrum fendleri (Fendler’s meadowrue) and the beautiful hummingbird favorite Aquilegia formosa (western columbine). These meadow rue are growing vigorous and healthy from ten year old seed.
On a larger plant scale we also have a number of regenerating blue oak seedlings on our property. On most properties the oak seedlings are mown down annually and I notice very little oak regeneration around neighbors homes. In an effort to allow successive generations of oaks to develop around our home in early summer, before cutting the dried grass and vegetation, I carefully survey the area flagging or placing a large log or rock by any oak or shrubby seedlings. To add to our native collection of oaks, and honestly because I can not stop myself from collecting and growing out seeds, last year - a banner acorn year - I collected an assortment of acorns. In addition to more Quercus douglasii (blue oak) I also collected acorns of Quercus chrysolepis (canyon live oak) and Quercus kellogii (black oak). Thus far in my containers the blue oaks have come up first, the canyon live oaks later as they are just now sending up shoots, while the black oaks, while rooting have yet to show signs of any shoot growth.
These local native tree additions will be planted out next fall. In addition to the oaks I have a few more redbuds grown out from local seed to add to the several I have previously propagated and planted out.
Wedding Trees. Of course we are most excited for our collection of wedding trees. Our oldest son and now daughter-in-marriage were wed at our home this February 10th. To honor and commemorate this happy occasion and the coming together of our two families I drew up a list with descriptions of several trees and large shrubs which would do well on our property. From this list the brides parents chose a California sycamore, my wife and I chose a big leaf maple, while the bride and groom selected a western redbud for their wedding tree.
During construction of our hardscape around the back and side of our home the property incurred considerable degradation from our wet conditions and the construction equipment. With this opportunity of bare soil before me I purchased two pounds of Larner Seed’s “Golden State Native Grass Erosion Control Mix” http://www.larnerseeds.com Included in this mix were fast growing Elymus glaucous (blue wildrye), Bromus californica (California brome), and Hordeum brachyantherum (California meadow barley). I also ordered some locally native lupine species (for nitrogen fixing) and poppies (just for fun) to augment the sowing. It will be interesting to see how they fare competing against the ever present non-native annual grasses and the gophers. Hopefully I will have something good to report on this fun experimental endeavor. I will be waiting and watching and enjoying my native garden.
When the acorns start to fall it is a sign that cooler days are coming. Thank goodness I say. I am so excited. The long quiet days of this past summer was garden planning time and now finally it is planting time. So let's take those lists and go shopping; sow our seeds, plant our bulbs, and get our new natives in the ground. The very best time to plant most natives, especially trees and shrubs, is now through November while the soil is still warm but while the days are short and the nights cool. This weekend Grow Native Nursery at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont is having its Fall Planting Festival For other places to 'go native' see useful links above.
As I sit down to write I ask myself, how long has it been since I posted anything here and like when a tree falls in the forest, if there is nobody there did anyone notice? Well, noticed or not I am back, in the mood, and making some time to share.
In the California native plant garden summer is a quiet time. A time for all to take a restful vacation. The winter and spring thrill of seeing new plants coming into flower and watching for buzzy foraging insects is a past time mostly passed. However, during these long hot summer days, this is also the time of year when birds, reptiles, spiders, and sometimes larger critters are most active. With new spring broods to feed these fellow urbanites are abundant, hungry and thirsty, and for the observant they make for pleasurable garden moments as we tend to our summer garden maintenance.
One popular summer past time of course is reading. Now we all have varied tastes in literature but most native plant folks have a passion for their local natural world. One of the most revered writers of this genre is our beloved naturalist and wildland evangelist, John Muir. If you are not yet a convert to native plant gardening, but feel you might like to be, here is a quote of his on gardening which I came across this summer. It might serve as a test of sorts.
Question: How do I react to the following statement?
" I never before saw Nature's grandeur in so abrupt contrast with paltry artificial gardens. The fashionable hotel grounds are in exact parlor taste, with many a beautiful plant cultivated to deformity, and arranged in strict geometrical beds, the whole pretty affair a laborious failure side by side with divine beauty."
John Muir, 1867; Kentucky Forests and Caves, TMW, 11-12
If you find this statement perplexing or 'wacky' as many folks thought John Muir was (I call it enthusiasm) you may require order, neatness, conformity, and predictability in your garden and maybe a different garden style might be your path. However, if these words resonate, it may be you are indeed ready to start building a garden of divine beauty for your own.
A New Book
Towards building this divine beauty I am really excited to share with the seven or so readers of this blog the publication of a brand new book on gardening with native plants. Now while I have yet to read it, actually I am hoping for a free copy, I have known the author for many years and I cannot imagine a more qualified or passionate person to write on this topic. Every gardener has their own tricks and secrets and in this book I am certain we will find personal anecdotes, trials, and errors, which will help us all be better and happier gardeners. Native plant gardening is not simple and not for the lazy nor the disinterested. To reap the rewards of a native plant garden requires of us (or one's designated garden steward) something in return: a sincere effort to understand native plants; a basic knowledge of the ecology and practice of bringing native plants into cultivation; and a commitment to caring for them over the years. While native plant gardens can be care free and partially self sustaining they do not take well to being ignored and misunderstood. Sort of like us humans I guess. If you are interested in building a relationship with your garden Barbara Eisenstein's new book will assist, educate, hold your hand, and inspire you along your way. Here is a descriptive quote from Amazon.com.
"Wild Suburbia guides us through the process of transforming a traditional, high water-use yard into a peaceful habitat garden abounding with native plants. Author Barbara Eisenstein emphasizes that gardening is a rewarding activity rather than a finished product, from removing lawns and getting in touch with a yard's climate to choosing plants and helping them thrive. Supplementing her advice with personal stories from her decades of experience working with native plants, Eisenstein illuminates the joys of tending a native garden-and assures us that any challenges, from managing pests to disapproving neighbors, should never sap the enjoyment out of a pleasurable and fulfilling hobby. For plant lovers curious about their own ecosystems, Wild Suburbia offers a style of gardening that nurtures biodiversity, deepens connection to place, and encourages new and seasoned gardeners alike to experiment and have fun.
You can order or get more information on the book by clicking on the photo. However I also want to encourage one to consider ordering it from your local book sellers who are having such a hard time making it in this online world we live in.
Baileya multiradiata, our desert marigold, has been such a wonderful plant in our Hemet landscape I just had to write about it and post some photos. Several years ago I cast out seed in our front yard and I have found that our plants absolutely thrive in our sandy soil and inland valley climate.
Baileya is a short-lived perennial living about three years in our garden. They do respond happily to occasional water during our long dry season but too much water in the summer will likely lead to root rot. Desert marigold grows natively in our Mojave Desert and thrives on heat and is naturally drought tolerant. Our plants do not require any maintenance aside from a once or twice a year trimming to remove spent flowers. Being impatient and a bit lazy I admit that I actually use my electric string trimmer to accomplish this task. They do look a bit haggard after this rough treatment but with a little TLC watering they bounce right back and in a couple weeks look as charming as ever.
Our plants bloom almost year round and thus are a ready source for cut flowers to bring into the home or to use in cheerful bouquets for friends and special events.
Of course being spring there is so much else happening in our gardens. Our Calliandra which has struggled for three years is now looking happy and in full bloom. I have one of my native onions blooming for the first time as are my redbuds which I grew from seed collected along the Salt Creek near our Three Rivers home. I am excited to have a red flowering milkvetch (Astragalus coccineus) looking healthy and I look forward to lots of seed from my spider lupines grown from seed which we collected from the Three Rivers area. And then there are the poppies, the most photogenic of all our native plants. It is hard to get chores done when your garden is bursting in bloom and so full of life. Here is a sampling of my garden this March 2016. If you click on the photo a larger and full image will pop up. Enjoy :-)
Two California icons
It is spring and my wife and I recently visited two very special places; one to see the our giant sequoias in the snowy white of winter and second to see the great poppy explosion along Dry Creek in the Sierra foothills east of Visalia. Just thought I would post a link to them here
If you wish to visit anywhere in this lovely part of our state check out the informative and enticing website Tulare County Treasures. Here you will find lots of leads and ideas on places to visit to make your spring or summer an especially memorable one. It looks to me that it will be a wildflower bonanza in the Sierra foothills this spring and early summer.
With Monarchs and Milkweeds - Part one was posted on February 6. If you have not already read this please scroll down.
Lesson No. 3: There is an organism named Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which for obvious reasons is more commonly known as OE. The images above show one of my caterpillars and later its chrysalis infected by this parasite. For comparison to the right is an image of a healthy chrysalis. From my research I learned that emergent infected adult butterflies die off during their migration flight and thus do not carry and spread the spores of this disease to other butterflies in the over wintering colony. Thereby keeping this disease of our native monarchs in check. Secondly when you have a year round food source for monarchs you also have a year round site for OE which is transferred from butterfly wings when the butterfly is nectaring or laying eggs. OE spores are then consumed by the butterfly's larvae. OE is naturally kept in balance when native milkweeds die back. Not so with the perennially growing non-native milkweeds in warmer climates.
As I monitored my monarchs I noticed a majority weren't making it. Some not developing normally never emerged, others struggled to emerge, fell to the ground and died. These likely were stricken with OE. Another natural predator on many lepidoptera species is the tachinid fly. This fly oviposits its eggs into caterpillars where they consume their host then emerge and drop down on long silky threads to pupate in the ground. As shown below I observed these as well taking a toll on my monarch family.
Lesson No. 4: In reading some of the literature on this topic I learned that there is a bit of controversy regarding the benefits vs. the dangers of growing tropical milkweed. Because of severe habitat loss - not to mention use of herbicides in agriculture fields - monarch butterfly advocates believe that tropical milkweed plants in home gardens provide food and nectar which helps the monarch survive. Scientists however are more cautionary and advocate the use of local native milkweed species. Well, this makes perfect sense to me. But where can you find these native milkweeds which scientists are recommending we use? Certainly not in our big box store garden centers.
So I went searching online for native milkweeds at my favorite SoCal native plant nurseries. And I was a little disappointed. Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido: '0'; Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano: '0' - Well, actually they did not answer their phone and they do not have an online availability list; Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont: '0'; Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley ...'0'.
Monarch butterflies are so threatened, and yet very popular; so why are their host plants not more readily available? I kept up my search though and at last discovered a source, Moosa Creek Nursery in Valley Center. According to their inventory list they had Asclepias fascicularis and Asclepias speciosa, both terrific milkweed species. Searching further I found that Matillija Nursery way up north in Moorpark also had these same species in their inventory. I wonder if there were a higher demand for our native milkweeds would they be more easy to come by.
Lesson No. 5: If you want to do the right thing sometimes you can not take the easy path and to get native milkweed, this year anyway, I may have to take the long path down to Valley Center. But isn't it worth it? Actually what would really be best for monarch fans and the butterflies alike would be to have Home Depot adopt the little darlings as their mascot and promote the conservation of the monarchs through the sale and planting of native milkweed species. Home Depot corporate colors are orange and black, so what a great fit and what a PR coup!
Until then.......if you want to grow your own native milkweed plants you can find seed sources for several of these native species here at this excellent monarch website: Monarch Butterfly Garden
Here also are two excellent seed sources for California native seeds who also carry several milkweed species: Larner Seeds and Sierra Seed Supply.
Here are links to photos and information on some of our native milkweed species.
Narrowleaf or whorled milkweed
and possibly my favorite, and along with narrowleaf milkweed, the easiest to grow:
The Xerces Society is also the go to place for information on all things butterflies, check out their milkweed guide here.
Well now back now to my butterflies. Despite disease and parasites I did have three chrysalises which produced what appeared to be healthy normal butterflies. Here are some of my photos from this exciting event. All photos taken using my Nikon 100mm F2.8 macro.
So now I have a better sense of why folks get so attached and dedicated to these delightful creatures and I am especially grateful for this journey I have been allowed to take. Just wonderful this is and what wonders there can be in your own back yard.
I am excited to be posting my experiences, photos, and what I have learned about monarch butterflies and milkweeds. Since this is a native plant journal knowledgeable butterfly enthusiasts may react to this photo "oh no, not a tropical milkweed...bad!" Well, this is part of my story and part of what I have learned as I welcomed these beautiful and fascinating creatures into my urban landscape.
My experience begins in the summer of 2014 at our local Home Depot. In the garden section were a bench of lovely tropical milkweed plants; (Asclepias curassavica). They were in full bloom and with ripe pods shedding seeds, a healthy sample of which I deftly copped and stuffed into my pocket. I wondered then, and still do, is this shoplifting?
At home with my stash of seeds I sowed them in a flat and waited......... and waited. Slow to germinate I was finally rewarded that fall by a flush of seedlings. I potted them up into 2" rose pots and enjoyed watching them develop into healthy young plants. Once they were established and strong I kept about a dozen for my own use to plant in the long neglected planter bed which frames my back yard patio. That spring and summer of 2015 my milkweed plants grew quickly. However I also discovered that tropical milkweeds are very thirsty plants and in the heat of summer without every other day watering my plants would go into a despondent afternoon wilt.
Lesson No. 1: Asclepias currasavica is native to tropical Mexico, Central and South America. So how genetically appropriate are these plants for arid southern California? Should I have been wise not to sow seeds of a "tropical" plant for my dry garden? Of course. However, try as I may I find that I do not always apply my left brain logic when my right side passions for a pretty plant dominates my decision making. Over the summer and fall I managed to satisfy their water dependency from our water buckets in which we collect the shower and kitchen water when we are waiting for the hot water to flow. With this coddling by early fall we were enjoying the beauty of these charming plants as they put out dozens upon dozens of boisterous red and cheery yellow flower clusters.
And then she came.
26 October, 2015. Although when I pinched the seeds and planted the seedlings I was very well aware that milkweeds are an important source of food and nectar for monarch butterflies I was not really thinking about butterflies, especially so late in the season. But now, here she was, graceful and absolutely stunning in the autumnal California sunshine as she flitted back and forth amongst the flowers. I watched and photographed her for three or maybe it was four days, surprised that she made these daily returns, sipping nectar and laying eggs. I wondered where she rested and where she went at night. But then I also wondered...why is there a butterfly laying eggs in my garden with winter so close at hand?
Lesson No. 2: Western monarch butterflies feed on a variety of our native milkweed species including: showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), California milkweed (Asclepias californica), whorled milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), antelope-horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula), and desert milkweed (Asclepias erosa). These native milkweeds die back with summer drought and the butterflies have naturally co-evolved to migrate and over-winter at several famous sites along the California coast from Santa Barbara County north. Once I started doing some research I learned that because it is not cold enough here in my part of southern California the non-native tropical milkweed grows year round. With this year round food source readily available in our gardens monarchs may not migrate. Is this a bad thing? I learned more later which I will write about in part 2 of my journey.
But back to my garden and some pretty photos. It was a bit of a challenge but I did manage to locate some of the tiny white eggs and this is when I had the idea that if I was lucky I might be able to follow this celebrated insect's complete life cycle here in my own backyard. I must say that from then on I was a bit obsessed; my chores and home projects postponed as I tended a new routine of daily and sometimes twice a day checking on and photographing the eggs and the newly emerged caterpillars. Here then is a slide presentation of the fun I had watching my monarch family as they developed, happily munching down my milkweed plants, and growing big and fat in the process. Were they really happy? Of course they were. Just look at them.
December 18th I discovered my first monarch chrysalis. I think I was weeding and just by chance I looked under my greenhouse window and found two, one chrysalis and another caterpillar just attaching. Over the next couple of weeks all of them I could find had navigated from the garden bed toward the house. There were abundant shrubs and small trees nearby but they preferred attaching on or near the house; on plastic door jams, wood boards, stucco, and a potted plant, but always up near the house. Were they navigating toward the south facing surface, or were they drawn by the warmth radiated by the house? Despite our predominantly sunny weather these guys were enduring a pretty cold time of year even enduring and surviving a freezing hail storm. I would head for that sunny warm south facing wall too.
I will be posting part 2 of my adventure with monarchs soon but I have chores to catch up on.
January 24th, 2016
Today I am enjoying watching the healthy robust plants in my seed regen boxes and find myself looking forward to spring bloom. Some folks like to grow vegetables in their home gardens but I personally can not get enough of native wildflowers, whether in the wild or in the garden. I have already been hearing reports of the beginnings of desert blooms (check out Death Valley mid February) and with the abundant central to northern California rains the foothills and mountain front ranges this spring should not be anything short of wonderful. Visit the Theodore Payne Wildflower Report as the season progresses to get the latest reports of where to go. http://theodorepayne.org/education/wildflower-hotline/
In my boxes here I am growing spider lupine (Lupinus benthamii) from seed collected in the Kaweah River watershed region of the southern Sierra, California poppies from the same region, plus a box full of one of my favorite farewell to spring species (Clarkia gracilis subspecies tracyi). The latter ranges west and north of the Sierra in Colusa and Lake counties. In the baskets I have the floriferous and charming punch bowl clarkia (Clarkia bottae) which I am excited to see appearing to be quite happy grown as a hanging basket plant. The large plant on the stand in the back of the image is Clarkia bottae as well. I hope you can come back to this site in the spring to see them all in bloom and to share with me the beauty, bounty, and joy in our California native plants. They bring so much to us and are so important to so many species other than ourselves let's return the favor and do all we can to preserve them.
Immerse yourself in nature's grandeur. Your soul and spirit will thank you.
More wild bees needed for agriculture
Here is a link to some interesting research on the benefit of wild bees and the lack of natural populations near lands whose crops depend on bees for pollination. I am always impressed with the number and diversity of wild bees in my native plant garden and it is always a pleasure to watch and listen as my paloverde buzzes with activity during bloom time. I live in a typical tract neighborhood with landscapes of lawns (now many dried up) and evergreen non-native boxed and lollipopped shrubs yet my small patch of native vegetation is pretty rich with pollinators. See my previous posts. I wonder how much acreage of restored wild bee habitat interspersed within their orchards would be required to help today's farmers.
Michael Wall - Hemet, CA