Because of requests, I'm sharing with you some of the books I purchased this weekend at the Wildflower Conference.
As I've stated before, I am an unabashed bibliophile. New books, old books...I love 'em all. Many (if not most) of my books are of an outdoor subject: natural history, gardening, etc. So, as you can imagine, books for sale at a plant conference are to me like red is to hummingbirds - I can't resist and must zoom in for a closer look!
Here are the six that came home with me.
First up, in the Gardening and Landscaping category, we have Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan (it's all about going native these days), Energy-wise Landscape Design (how to make your house more energy efficient with the proper landscape around your abode), and The Climate Conscious Gardener (the editor of which was one of our keynote speakers - very good).
Then, in the Natural History category, we have The Michigan Roadside Naturalist (to aid me in my explorations this summer), A Guide to Wildflowers in Winter (I have Weeds in Winter, but this looked like a good supplement to that), and the one that I think will become my favorite of this batch: Attracting Native Pollinators.
Now, I should explain that I'm loving this book not so much because it is how to plant gardens (et al) to attract butterflies and bees, but because it has superb photographs of our native bees and terrific descriptions of them and their habits.
This is a terrific thing because a) honey bees, while important to our crops, are not native, b) honey bee populations are in a downward spiral, c) there are lots of native bees that are also very important pollinators, and d) their populations are not doing well, either, mostly because we have supplanted their preferred food sources (native plants) with horticultural varieties, non-native ornamentals, agricultural products that are genetically modified to kill insects or to not need insects for pollination, and the ever-increasing conversion of native habitats to monocultures of lawns and concrete. Therefore, it behooves us to not only learn about our native bees, but also how to encourage their proliferation and their presence in our lives.
And this comes from someone who grew up petrified of bees. Bees are important; native bees are even more so. Get to know them. Get to know how to help them.