Cooperative Extension, Sutter-Yuba Counties
University of California
Cooperative Extension, Sutter-Yuba Counties

UC ANR Blogs

Native Plants for Shade

Catalina perfume, Cindy Weiner

By Cindy Weiner, UC Master Gardener of Butte County, June 15, 2018 On our hot summer days, shady garden areas can offer welcome respite from the heat. One of the challenges of gardening in shade, though, is adding interest through color, because it can be difficult to find plants that bloom in shade. Incorporating native plants in your garden can greatly increase the choices available to you. One plant suitable for dry shade is Catalina perfume or evergreen currant (scientific name Ribes...

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Pollinator Gardens Make Us Happy: Get Ready for National Pollinator Week!

This is an overview of part of Kate Frey's pollinator garden at Sonoma Cornerstone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Are you ready for National Pollinator Week, June 18-June 24? A spectacular pollinator garden that's a "must-see" is Kate Frey's pollinator garden at Sonoma Cornerstone. Kate Frey, a world-class pollinator garden designer, pollinator advocate and author who addressed the UC Davis Bee Symposium in March on "Designing Bee Friendly Gardens," has created a masterpiece. And yes, the pollinator garden is open to the public--no admission fee. We visited the garden last Saturday and saw a pipevine...

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 4:44 PM

Under Attack: European Wool Carder Bee Vs. Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet the competitors. In this corner, meet Mr. Teddy Bear. He's a blond, green-eyed carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, a native, and one of three species of carpenter bees commonly found from northern to southern California to western New Mexico.  In the other corner, meet Mr. Bodyslam. He's a European wool carder bee, Anthidium manicatum, a native of Europe. His "immigrant ancestor" was first detected in the United States (New York) in 1963, and the species spread west. The carder bee...

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 4:29 PM

Here Come the Carpenter Bees!

A male mountain carpenter bee, Xyclocopa tabaniformis orpifex, nectaring on Spanish lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's spring and it's loud in the Spanish lavender patch. The girls--the honey bees--are buzzing furiously as they forage among the blossoms, but so are the boys, in this case the mountain carpenter bee, Xyclocopa tabaniformis orpifex. The girls are there for the pollen and nectar to take back to their colonies, and the boys are there for some flight fuel.  And to find mates. Xyclocopa tabaniformis orpifex is one of three species of California carpenter bees: the others are Xyclocopa...

Posted on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 6:21 PM

Pollinator Plants in the Home Garden

Scarlet bugler and foothill penstemons by B. McGhie

By Brent McGhie, UC Master Gardener of Butte County, March 30, 2018. Pollinators, animals that pollinate plants, are essential for the functioning of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems.  The most common pollinators are insects, including both social and solitary bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and flies.  Birds (primarily hummingbirds) and bats are the most common vertebrate pollinators.  Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of the flower (the...

Posted on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 5:00 AM

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