Artichokes, Nativars, and More

In our Summer 2021 issue, we delve deep into gardening for the future, covering 12 easy-to-grow, sustainable plants and flowers that will feed your eyes, your family, and wildlife. We tackle the difficult topic of nativars, and what that means for your nursery plant purchases. Pollinator Scientist Jeff Ollerton introduces us to how planting for pollinators may help reduce the impact of climate change. And bee scientist Victoria Wojcik reviews the science on honey bee and native bee competition. If you want to be inspired, informed, and entertained, check out the Summer 2021 issue. 

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We take pride in publishing eye-catching covers. This summer issue is no exception. Claudia Moreno from Peru shares her artichoke headdress, part of her Moody Food Series. Living in Peru, she found her way back to art during the pandemic as a coping strategy. The issue features an in-depth article by Cynthia Berger on the long history of artichokes and how they were known to increase sexual prowess. In addition to being a culinary delight, these plants are absolute pollinator magnets when allowed to bloom. 

In Rusty Burlew’s long-form article we explore how planting native can quickly get complicated. Plant growers can only patent a plant if it differs substantially from the original stock. But when breeders select for differences, what else might be impacted in the plant? Learn more in her in depth exploration of The Nativar Dilemma. 

In this issue, we bring you:

  • The Pollination Alphabet
  • The Bee with the Hairy Feet
  • Seasons of the Sonoran Desert: a photo essay exploring the world of wasps
  • Bees Under Siege: why so few bees are federally protected
  • And so much more!

Borage flowers come in an lovely palette of colors. These are one of the 12 plants recommended by Franzi Sordon of Confetti Gardens in this months issue. She lists 12 easy-to-grow plants that will feed the family, the soul, and your wildlife visitors. Plus frozen into ice-cubes, these flowers make a delightful addition to a homemade lemonade or summer cocktail. 


Pollination specialist Jeff Ollerton describes how our flying friends help mitigate the impacts of climate change. e’re in the midst of an accelerating climate crisis. And it can be hard to know how to curb its effects. How can we help our planet adapt and survive as average temperatures continue to rise and weather patterns become more erratic?

Supporting our pollinator diversity is critical in the fight against climate change. Three-quarters of the world’s most widely grown crops need animals to ensure at least part of their yields of seeds and fruit, and almost 90 percent of the 352,000 species of flowering plants are animal pollinated. Without pollinators our diets would be far less diverse, some farmers would suffer reduced incomes, and we would lose much of the wild biodiversity of our planet. This biodiversity, in turn, supports our societies, through ways both tangible (in agriculture for instance) and intangible, for example the ways in which it inspires art and culture. As the recent UK Government instigated Dasgupta Review of The Economics of Biodiversity confirms, “pollinators may be of great value even if their measurable services to GDP are of negligible worth.” 

Climate change is in our midst. Gardening more sustainably in our home yards, and working to ensure our city parks and protected landscapes sustain pollinators can help us reduce carbon emissions.