It always surprises me when gardeners post on disliking a plant. I am not really sure this early bloomer deserves all the criticism or disdain.
Deer don’t eat them and that is a plus. They are not heat tolerant. So that does not work in their favor in many places around the country. They have some very unattractive leaves, so I will give gardeners that one, but really it is a shame to disparage such a delightful and easy to grow plant. But that is another two reasons to draw ire from gardeners. Too many and too common. But if you were a bee, neither of these reasons would bother you.
Other gardeners complain that once you have Muscari, it is there to stay. It naturalizes well and I consider that a plus. Sadly, not including Muscari in a spring garden, keeps it off the menu for the bees.
Gathering nectar and pollen is what honeybees need to do early in the season. Cobalt blue flowers and sweet fragrance entice bees. Given that 90% of flowering plants need assistance for pollination, Muscari is a hard-working plant needing bees.
Clump flowering plants like Muscari will have scores of bees foraging the plants at the same time. Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ is shown below with Myosotis and in an above image, Phlox subulata. It also blooms with species tulips, my garden, Tulipa batalinii.
We gardeners can help bee populations by watching what bees gravitate to in our gardens, and catering to their preferences by planting the flowers they visit. This charming little plant is one bees find early in the season. It’s a beautiful relationship gardeners have with bees. Just look at those bulging pollen baskets!
When the Muscari is blooming in 2015, you will see more, hopefully coinciding with tulips this year. Every spring is different in our area. Last post showed you four years running.
So don’t miss my garden in yesterday’s post or don’t miss my post on Allium, another bulb working hard in the garden. And yes it naturalizes too. For those of you that garden, gardening posts are here on GWGT.
A beautiful relationship indeed.