Posted On: June 29, 2017
Hydrangea Hurrah and Pollinator Week Recap
Hurrah for Hydrangeas
Last weekend, Mad. Sq. Hort Day: Hydrangea Hurrah brought together people of all ages for a festive day in the Park—all in the name of our prized perennials! There was live music by Glenn Cryzter’s New Yorkers, which spurred a few swing dancers to appear around our reflecting pool. Gardener Steph was onsite to answer anyone’s burning horticulture questions. The Milliners Guild made custom hats while flower arranging and watercolor workshops produced a beautiful body of work for all Park visitors to enjoy. You could also find Conservancy staff giving previews of our new Bee Houses, showing passersby how we build them and why they benefit our bees, which in turn benefits the Park.
Bee Houses: Vacancy
So, why are bees so important to the Park? For starters, they are great pollinators, which means our flowers will always have help spreading their pollen. This improves the overall growth of our gardens and adds variety to our floral displays. Leafcutter bees in particular are great garden pollinators because they are considered to be solitary bees. Every female leafcutter is fertile, making food gathering for her eggs a priority. This makes their visits to pollen-rich flowers steady and reliable, and substantially increases their pollinating activity. With so much on the line, these bees are quite gentle, and will not bother unsuspecting humans unless provoked, or if their nests are threatened.
As much as these little bees are active during the summer, we thought it was a good idea to build them a safe place to put their cocoons. We were glad to have done so during National Pollinator Week. Our bee houses will provide them with ideal nesting holes—after all, they are nesting-bees—and will protect them from rain, wind, and large predators. Keep an eye out for them near areas in the Park that will directly benefit from their pollinating.
For the Horticulturally Minded
There is much more to learn about bees, the importance of pollination, and why the Park cares so much about them. Luckily, Hydrangea Hurrah was there to teach visitors about our gardens and its natural surroundings. Nick Hoefly of Astora Apiaries stopped by with a nest of bees and answered questions for our curious visitors. Mal Condon, Curator of Hydrangeas at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, MA provided insights on the impressive aspects of the hydrangea. The Tea Dealers provided everyone with delicious hydrangea tea and were there to answer questions about their brew. Finally, Gardener Steph gave parasol tours of our latest hydrangea plantings, which include Sandy Summer, LA Dreamin’, Ruby Slippers Oakleaf, Midnight Salsa, Tradiva, Limelight, Bobo, Bushing Bride, Rhythmic Blue, Strawberries and Cream, and Michele Hydrangeas.
It was a beautiful day for our visitors indeed, and our gardens are more beautiful than ever. Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us.