The New England Asters and Quilled Coneflowers blooming in our garden during the months of September and October were planted to provide sustenance for migrating Monarchs. Although both are native wildflowers, the bees and butterflies visiting gardens at this time of year are much more interested in nectaring at the New England Asters.
Plant the following four native beauties and I guarantee, the pollinators will come!
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)
Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Female Monarch curling her abdomen to the underside and depositing eggs on Marsh Milkweed foliage.
While filming B-roll and “Bee”-roll for my nature documentaries this morning, I came upon the German National television channel’s ZDF cast and crew getting organized for a day of filming at the Eastern Point Lighthouse. They are shooting films based on the Katie Fforde romance novels. Not considered mini-series, four separate films are being shot all around the North Shore and filming will continue to take place in Gloucester this week.
“All of Fforde’s stories-into-movies focus on the lead character (usually a woman) overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream. Each film runs for 90 commercial-free minutes.”
For the past several seasons the show has been filmed in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. This year, the producers wanted to change it up and film north of Boston. I hope they decide to come back next year!
Stills from last night and this morning ~
Beacon Marine Basin
“Bee”-roll ~ Native Wildflower Gaura lindheimeri — Its Common Name is ‘Whirling Butterflies’
Henry Eiler’s Sweet Coneflower ~ Note the Unique Quilled petals
New to our garden this year is the Quilled Sweet Coneflower. The finely quilled sunny yellow petals are simply lovely, as is the overall shape of the plant. The wildflower is a North American native and bears the name of the southern Illinois horticulturist and prairie restoration specialist who found it growing in a railroad prairie remnant.
When lightly rubbed, the leaves of Rudbeckia subtomentosa reveal their sweet vanilla scent. I’ll let you know if it attracts bees, butterflies, and songbirds when the center florets open.
Railroad Prairie Remnants
“…the only remnant of any virgin, unplowed prairie that remains is along railroad tracks. When the railroads were originally built in the 1800′s, if they were going over a natural prairie, all they had to do was lay down the wooden crossties, pack in bed fill, and lay the rails….the remaining right-of-way remained essentially undisturbed. In many locales, a road also was constructed parallel to new tracks, so that the few hundred feet of railroad right-of-way trapped between the tracks and the road remained unplowed to this day, and in many areas has reserved a remarkable diversity of prairie species. In most areas, accidental fires happen fairly regularly, which enhances the vigor of the prairie vegetation.” Larry Lowman, Arkansas nurseryman and native plants specialist.