USPS Puts Its Stamp On America’s Most Beautiful Blooms

Floral stamp from the USPS Pollinator stamp series

You may think that gardens and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) have little in common, but The National Postal Museum, located in Washington, DC, is currently challenging that point of view. It recently opened an exhibition featuring the botanical art behind 50 years worth of floral stamps. And it’s delivered the goods just in time for the spring season. Continue reading

Bees, Wasps and Hornets: Here’s How To Tell The Difference

Four common bees and wasps

What is the difference between bees, wasps and hornets? This is a question I tend to ask myself, especially when surrounded by swarms of hungry yellow jackets while eating outside. I, for one, know from experience that fuzzy honeybees can make excellent garden companions. But, what’s up with their skinny yellow and black striped brethren? Do they have any value? They only seem interested in stinging me. Continue reading

Bee ID: How To Make Sense Of The Buzz In Your Garden

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Aren’t they cute?

One of the many things I love about gardening is working in tandem with my many fuzzy, buzzing friends. Dutifully arriving on the job each morning, they hover beside me, yielding as one mass each time I shift position in the garden. Sometimes, I’ve been brave (or stupid) enough to touch one of the downy creatures, and they’ve agreed to let me stroke them. Feeling the tiny vibrations of all that industrious activity never ceases to amaze me. Continue reading

Understanding Biopesticides And How To Use Them Safely

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Japanese beetle

The word biopesticide can provoke strong reactions these days, immediately conjuring up images of people spraying toxic chemicals that are hazardous to human health. Complicating matters is the fact that just because a pesticide says it’s organic doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic. Still, sometimes a gardener has no choice but to reach for a biopesticide or other, more conventional product, to save plants from immediate destruction. That’s why the best approach is always to understand your pesticide before you spray. Continue reading