Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy bees. Happy gardeners.

I adore bumblebees.  They remind me of dogs, as they happily roll around in the flowers around my garden.  Matt takes his adoration a step further and pets them lightly with his index finger when given the chance.  I'm not sure it's a mutually-enjoyed experience.

A bumble enjoys the Spirea douglasii (western spirea) in the front rain garden.
A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have a representative from the Portland Audubon Backyard Habitat program visit our garden.  The program has four elements: removal of aggressive weeds, naturescaping with native plants, stormwater management, and wildlife stewardship.  After the rep toured the garden with us, noting the natives we've planted and other efforts we've made to create a more sustainable and wildlife-friendly outdoor space, she made some calculations and gave us the news.  We were immediately Gold Level certified!  And here's the proof.

We also took Metro's "Pesticide Free Pledge"
It's nice to be recognized for the work we've put in, but more importantly, we hope that by displaying the sign in our front garden, we'll promote the idea of creating sustainable habitat in urban spaces.  The Backyard Habitat program is pretty great.  Not only did the Audubon rep send us a report including planting and habitat enhancement suggestions, but we now get discounts on plant material from various nurseries and sales throughout the area.  You know this makes me happy!

Do you have similar programs in your home town?

No bees here.  I'm just loving the pops of sunflowers throughout our garden!