…I studied bees, who were able
to convey messages through dancing
and could find their ways
home to their hives
even if someone put up a blockade of sheets
and boards and wire…
Naomi Shihab Nye
Landscape design considerations for attracting pollinators might more recently have been increasingly focused on floriferous herbaceous perennials. At Mount Auburn we include many of those but also know that trees and shrubs are an essential part of our pollinator support. Honeybees, bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees, mining bees among numerous other types of bees, as well as other kinds of pollinators, are attracted to the expansive cornucopia of blossoms throughout the total growing season within our landscape.
During the early weeks of July countless bees will be dancing to and from our Ural falsespirea, Sorbaria sorbifolia. a native of north-east Asia. This is one of our largest shrubs, reaching 10-feet high and with a multi-stemmed, suckering habit that needs lots of room to accommodate its woody colony. The stiff upright stems are covered with 8-12-inch long, compound leaves, made up of 13 to 25 leaflets. It is the creamy-white, 1/3-inch flowers occurring multitudinously in 4-10-inch long panicles which produce an outstanding ornamental display and attract bees and butterflies.
On a summer visit to Mount Auburn look for our Ural falsespirea, Sorbaria sorbifolia between Birch Avenue and the Coolidge Avenue fence along our southern perimeter.
…How to extract its honey from the flower of the world, that is my everyday business. I am as busy as a bee about it; I ramble over all the fields on that errand and am never so happy as when I feel myself heavy with honey and wax. I am like a bee searching the lifelong day for the sweets of nature.
Henry David Thoreau
September 7, 1851