Ph. Luigi Fieni
In our garden, we choose and nurture plants above all for aesthetic pleasure.
But if will it be an useful place for different endemic species of plants, insects and animals survival?
We would be helping to environmental protection, without renouncing the beauty of our small or huge garden. Why? The reason is the importance of these species because they are essential for the environmental equilibrium and the biodiversity maintenance.
And our thoughts fly to bees, of course (and to every pollinators)!
From the Garden to the Moon
They fly about Earth from million years (Episodes 1) and their presence is fundamental for plants flourishing , for environment balance, for our planet life.
If we will be on the Moon, we can watch the Earth. Let’s travel back in time, in 80’s, to see and understand what has been happened to bees till now: the pollinators par excellence extinguishing, with them, many others as butterflies and bumblebees. Actually, where monoculture is wider and farmed with pesticide, bees practically are gone.
According to the magazine Science, since 80’s wild species of bees, more or less 80% of bees family, have been lost by 52%. In UK and Netherlands even by 67%.
99% of known insects provide to plants pollination, soil ventilation and its enrichment, making available nutritional substance of animal and vegetable rests again. In human terms, only the 1% has negative effects.
Insects live in symbiosis with plants. They feed, they breed, they protect themselves thanks to those insects. And the evolution, the survival of many vegetable reign species has been possible thanks to the huge population of insects, founding a collaboration that is essential for life on Earth.
From the Moon to the Garden
We are on Earth again, in our garden. In 2009, within its gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society demonstrated that: it is not necessary overturning the garden, growing it wild or specialise it with spontaneous flowering to attract a balanced insects’ population, but it seems to be enough to favour flowering plants with high level of nectar and pollen, abstaining from toxicants use and growing pleasuring wild plants. This garden management is furthermore a call to reproduction of predators that are greedy of dangerous parasitic.
What do useful insects like? Colours, shapes, scents. They are all an irresistible call.
Bees and bumblebees are attracted by yellow, mauve and white. Some daily butterflies love red and purple, others yellow and blue.
Syrphids, really useful pollinators looking like small bees without prickle, are attracted by yellow, orange, blue and violet.
The veining, similar to coloured brush stokes on petals, catch attention. Other flowers, for example Lungwort and perennial pea, change colour depending on their maturation level, advising pollinators about the end of corolla activity.
Small flowers for small insects, open and huge corollas for butterflies and lepidopterans, loving comfortable airstrips.
And Scents? They are part of an actual seduction strategy: calyxes, stamens, nectars emanate aromatic oils when the flower is ready to receive insects.
And under the Moon...white, pallide yellow or soft pink flowers produce nectar and scents only by night, as Nicotiana, Oenothèrather, Mirabilis jalapa, honey suckle,…
Now a passage for the flying garden is opened.