A tremendous THANK YOU to all those who came out to the Spring Ephemeral Plant Sale. This annual fundraising event for the garden leaped to a new high this year because of your support. We hope all those little treasures you picked up are finding snug, happy places in your own gardens, ready to greet you next spring. Most notably from this event, our member support grew, another important part of our garden funding. Thank you for the renewals, and a big WELCOME to our new members. Mark your calendars for your next members-only preview sale, coming up on May 6th from 4 pm to 7 pm. Members enjoy 15% off plant purchases and get early access to unique and hard-to-find plants.
Not sure if your membership is current? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, the name of your first pet, and the color of your first car. Please consider a sustaining membership through our Perennial Club, a monthly subscription starting at $10 a month or more. You can access membership sign up through our website at www.kruckeberg.org/join/.
Recent visitors will have noticed new additions to the garden. The new hoop house shines like a beacon in the sunlight, shiny and new. Our thanks again to the Woodinville Garden Club. A big thank you to Katy Dwyre for the sturdy potting bench, which now resides within. Wander down to the lower garden, and you encounter two new insect motels.
The bug hostels have already stirred a bit of curiosity with questions like: What kind of bugs are you trying to attract? Is this for pollinators? What happens when it gets moldy and rotten? How do I build one myself? For starters, bugs. I like bugs, and I recognize that bugs play a myriad of different roles in our environment. I limit this definition to bugs that belong in my garden setting. Just say no to ticks, cockroaches, and fleas. It’s important to have boundaries. This creation aims to provide a habitat for pollinators such as solitary wasps, bumblebees, and mason bees. None of these build nests or colonies. Predator insects also play an important role in keeping the balance against garden nuisances, like pesky aphids. As for the materials’ condition, most insects like damp, rotting materials, whereas pollinators like dry clean environments. The fun thing about this is that you can refresh the materials as needed and switch up the look and pattern. Keep in mind that many beneficial bugs hibernate in these nests during the winter, so try to be judicious about renovating or refreshing.
As for how to construct one for yourself, let me say that there are tons of references to these online. Just go to Pinterest and type in bug motel. For me, it started with the notion that I have a bunch of raw materials here at the garden that was already weathered and perfect for creating this effect. That’s not to say that your creation has to be upcycled materials. I’ve seen stunning designs that are clean and modern in their construction. I was motivated to use what was at hand and consider that the aesthetic should fit the garden. I have to say, and as a creative, this ticked a lot of boxes for me personally. I have to give thanks to a couple of other folks here, too. Hillary Ethe, our Edmonds College intern, was with me through the process, tediously cutting bamboo, twigs, logs, etc. Dean Weller was and is my go-to guy with construction solutions. How the heck do I build a roof over these? hahaha! He’s on it!
At the end of the day, these are here to serve multiple purposes. From a practical standpoint, to house beneficial bugs and engage visitors about being mindful of our environment. Conversation starters that lead to more mindful uses in our own yards. Visually, I love the look. It’s garden art, geometry, aesthetic; it just looks cool. I have admired these creations in other gardens as far away as the Netherlands, Washington, DC, and Seattle.
On a personal note, I would like to share with you some happy news. If you know me, you know that my dog(s) is a big part of my daily life. Ellie started working at the garden with me in 2017 at the age of 4 months old. It’s been over a year since we said goodbye to Lucy, our sweet old lady. Well, I am once again a new dog-dad. We welcomed our newest addition a couple of weeks ago. This is Henry. Ellie is finally accepting this change to her world, and it makes me happy to have two kids again. (Dog breed: Weimaraner)
We hope you find inspiration from your visits to the garden. Thank you again for your generous support and for making it possible for us to do what we do.