Achillea millefolium common yarrow, milfoil
FAMILY Asteraceae (aster) • perennial, USDA zones 3–8 •
North American native with many native and introduced subspecies and varieties • blooms spring to summer • 2–3 feet (0.6–1.0 m) high and as wide Common yarrow is widely distributed across North America, and the straight species is now so prevalent that it is considered an invasive weed in many regions. There are numerous subspecies, varieties, and cultivars of this plant, and it’s often difficult to determine the nativeness of any particular selection. Achillea millefolium bears white flowers while its cultivars range in color from pink to purple, red, and yellow. Both the straight species and its cultivars bear hairy, feathery, lance-shaped leaves that are distinctly fragranced. Its many small flowers are combined into a flat-topped flower structure (inflorescence) with each individual bloom organized like all members of the aster family: a group of central disk flowers surrounded by several colorful ray flowers bearing a strap-shaped corolla that appears as a petal. Yarrow is a favorite of lacewings, ladybugs, syrphid flies, parasitic wasps, damsel bugs, and others. The dense mat of lacy foliage produced by yarrow before the flower stalks arrive is one of my favorite early-season garden textures. The flattened inflorescence is long lasting and provides weeks of color in the garden, but with its top-heavy structure the plant may require staking, particularly if sited in less than full sun. Common yarrow is drought tolerant.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 1767-1785). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
Yesterday seemed to be raining. The Starlings were eating the suet and the other birds were devouring all the sunflower seeds. The young squirrels hung around the seed platform like it was the Olde Malt Shoppe.
But when I checked my rain gauge - the wheelbarrow - less than an inch fell all day, probably only 1/2 inch.
Today will feature heavier rain on and off during the day.
Yarrow seed was in my drawer, so I scattered that in the backyard gardens, and added another packet of Feverfew in the Wild Garden area.
As I told one reader, the beneficial insect plants are mostly herbs, and the herbs are all beneficial plants. That formula is not 100%, but it is close. In addition, the herbs are easy to grow and can be used for various complaints. At one time, before WWII, pharmacy was almost all herbal.
One herb used for medicine is Foxglove, digitalis, Latin for fingers - good for heart complaints and still being used.
Foxglove is also good for bumble bees. They remain open for pollination for a long time and have a convenient landing zone.
You guessed - I have been looking at Foxglove plants, but they are still priced too high. When the surge of Foxglove buying is done, I may pick up one. They are attractive and unusual plants, shade tolerant, and self-sowing - all good attributes for the Wild Garden.
Jessica Walliser linked an article she wrote about beneficial bugs. I commented on Facebook, "I consider plants a prop for the beneficial bugs." She liked the comment, which makes FB fun. I can write to gardening experts and get immediate responses. I sent her an IM about marketing plants as beneficial insect plants, and she was already working with a company on that idea.
|John 1 is connected to Genesis 1,|
just as the bee is connected to the flower.
Plants as Props
We do not understand gardening very well unless we see the entire feeding cycle, from the fungi up to the hawks.
For example, people see the stinging insects - bees, wasps, hornets - and go crazy about the imaginary threat.
When I saw a wasp on the weekend, hovering over the roses and landing on them, I wondered, "Where is this guy in the food cycle?" Wasps and hornets are generally pest destroyers until late summer, when the berry season helps them into their winter cycle. I have a lot to learn about this family, so try to ignore my mistakes.
The nearby nests of these creatures mean that lots of food is nearby. Why would I destroy their nests?
They are no different from the dragon flies that show up for a newly built pond. One is connected to the other.
Likewise, I found a bright red hornet or wasp on my wheelbarrow handle. He was not just resting. He seemed to be chewing on the old wooden handles to develop paper for his house. He was very alert to my movements and finally flew away.
One of the most relaxing moments in the garden is watching the insects at work, from the tiny ichneumon wasps and flower flies to the bumbling bumble bees.
The Bible Is Just as Connected as the Garden
Any creature I see in the garden is both eating and being eaten. The slugs that bother most of us follow their own trails and the trails of others - that slime we find on vegetables and anywhere they are - like my slug-friendly straw bale garden. But beetles follow that trail and eat them. And birds look for beetles and eat them.
A sign of life in our bucolic neighborhood is the hawk that feeds from all the food below him.
The Bible is just as connected because it is a unified Truth and the creation of the Holy Spirit. One verse is connected to all other verses. We may not always see the Savior in each verse, but like the baby in the cradle, we know He is there even when we do not see him. (Luther analogy)