This morning was my turn to help "host" a garden club meeting. Although hosting has all kinds of wonderful implications, none of them were true for me this morning. I hadn't cooked or ordered food, decorated, helped set up, or booked the speaker. But I got lucky, thanks to my colleagues in garden club, who invited Jessica Walliser.
Jessica is the co-host of The Organic Gardener, a Sunday morning radio show. I was once interviewed for this show, but who knows how I came off because that was the morning of the time change (spring forward) and I missed it, despite setting my alarm for it. In other words, I'd wanted to hear her for a long time, but hadn't gotten the chance.
She talked about all kinds of insects, all the good guys in the garden. It took me back to my favorite days of entomology class in grad school (you think I'm being sarcastic, but I actually did love that class). The best fact I learned was that dandelions, clover, and other small-flowered weeds are actually a nectar and pollen source for early beneficial insects, the kinds that impose gruesome deaths on all the garden pests.
Well, no wonder I've never seen a pest in our garden (besides the fact that I don't look too closely)! We have dandelions, bluets, creeping veronica, mints, and especially clover - in spades, so to speak. I actually seed the clover, which I have to special order from our neighborhood garden store. I have all kinds of reasons I love all these little plants - one is that they are free (and I'm thrifty, to put it kindly), and two is that I don't mind when my daughters pick them. In fact, I love when they pick them, as long as they don't make me carry the wilted bouquet around for the next hour. And even better, most of the weeds put on fresh flowers the very next morning.
Jessica has a book coming out on beneficial insects next spring; if her talk is any guide, it will be a good one. I'm looking forward to reading it.