Author: Amanda Carrigan
In the Alcove Garden sun bed right now, the catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is a mass of blue-purple flowers. It is one of the non-native plants still present in the garden. Catmint is often recommended for pollinator gardens, being easy to grow, long-blooming, and attractive. There were a number of bees buzzing around in it today, but they all seemed to be honeybees, which of course are also non-native, and now have both managed and feral populations here. We would have a hard time doing without the honeybees’ pollination services (and wax and honey products), but they do compete with native bees (who may specialize in a certain type of plant, as opposed to the honeybees’ wider preferences) for native plants’ pollen resources, so it’s just as well that these seemed to be focusing on a non-native plant species.
A honeybee visiting the flowers of catmint (Nepeta faassenii) in the Alcove Garden. Both bee and flower are non-native.
Photo: Amanda Carrigan