It’s Pollinator Month!

Our recent weather pattern of a sunny morning and early afternoon followed by afternoon rain showers seems to be a nice return to the weather patterns we used to have in this area.  This provides a welcome environment for gardening and planting new plants.  Our herb section is looking especially bounteous as is our collection of columbine plants and clematis vines.  We hope that you stop by to see our newest offerings of neonic-free, pollinator friendly, Colorado-adapted plants!

Our pollinator friendly plants are particularly important since June is Pollinator Month in Boulder, and June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week.  Harlequin’s Gardens is here to help you celebrate in a variety of ways! In Kristina Williams’ June Bee Buzz article below, she outlines the many ways you can support our local pollinators.  Kristina is a professional entomologist, president the Boulder Beekeepers Association, a beekeeper for 35 years, and Director of Harlequin’s Gardens’ Bee-keeping supply shop. She is available to help people with beekeeping questions and beekeeping equipment, and is teaching several Bee Classes, outlined below..

We have a not-to-be-missed class this weekend – Zach Hedstrom’s ‘Mushroom Cultivation and Identification’ class!  This is a unique opportunity for you to learn in a hands-on environment about local wild mushrooms: how to identify (participants will receive a mushroom identification packet for local mushrooms), spore plugs, and knowledge on how to grow them – a bargain for the $75 class cost!  This full day (Saturday, June 8 from 10 AM to 3 PM) class will be led by noted mycology expert, Zach Hedstrom.  We’re so fortunate to have his expertise for an entire day!  Last year Eve attended the class and said that everyone had a great time and learned so much; additionally other attendees have reported fantastic results growing their own mushrooms! Please call soon to reserve your spot as we have a 12 person maximum.   

On Sunday at 1:00, Mikl will teach you how to redirect your table scraps and garden clippings into food for the soil – a process know as composting.  In this “Successful Home Composting” class Mikl will show you how to let nature do the work for you! 

Further class details are listed below and as always, please call to register:  303-939-9403. 




OUR WARM-SEASON VEGGIE SELECTION IS HOT!

Our selection of tomatoes is very abundant as is our winter squashes and melons.  Soon we will have more cucumber and zucchini starts ready for you.  Below are our current in-stock selections of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  

TOMATOES 



PEPPERS 



EGGPLANTS 




JUNE BEE BUZZ 

The month of June is Pollinator Month in Boulder, and June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week.  Harlequin’s Gardens is here to help you celebrate in a variety of ways!

PLANTS

The best way to support pollinators is to provide safe forage and habitat.  First, our plants are all neonicotinoid-free. Neonicotinoids are systemic insecticides that circulate through the entire plant, including nectar and pollen, which are collected by bees for food.  Bees, with their fuzzy bodies and need for pollen for their baby food are the best pollinators.

Second, our plants are adapted to our local environment. This means that they’re ‘happier’ here and require less chemical and water input.  We carry many plants from ground covers to trees, among them Nepeta (catmint) and Helianthus (sunflower), that will provide for pollinators in general, as well as some plants visited by bee specialists, for example Sphaeralcea (mallow) and Oenothera (evening primrose).  Even our own-root roses, selected for our climate and soils, are good for pollinators.  As a rule of thumb, if you can see the stamens, so can the bees. Ask for our pollinator plant lists to help you shop. 

Ask for our pollinator plant lists to help you shop, or prepare in advance by visiting our website “Plants for Bees and other Pollinators” and “Plants for Pollinators List”

PICTURED POLLINATOR PLANTS:

Top Row: Tiger Swallowtail on Larkspur,  Seseli gummiferum (Moon Carrot)
Second Row: Genista lydia (Dwarf Golden Broom), Allium ‘Millenium’, Achillea (Yarrow)
Third Row: Origanum ‘Kent’s Beauty, Native bee on native Gaillardia, Gallardia aristata
Fourth Row: Asclepias curassavica (Milkweed), Sambucus nigra (Elderberry), Dictamnus albus (Gas Plant)

UPCOMING POLLINATOR CLASSES 

We’ll feature pollinators in our classes too where you can learn how to support the important role of bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles in pollinating our lovely flowers, native plants, fruits, and veggies. 

SATURDAY, JUNE 22 

Saturday morning at 10 AM, our own entomologist, Kristina Williams, will show you how to recognize and attract “Beneficial Insects” to your garden. 

This is followed at 1 PM by our (Free!) and very special Habitat Hero Wildscaping 101 class.  Here Laura Somers helps you to view gardens as a bird does when seeking shelter, food and nesting opportunities.  A wealth of knowledge for a fantastic price!

SUNDAY, JUNE 23 

Kristina returns on Sunday morning at 10 AM to share info on our most important, and perhaps underrated, pollinators: Colorado Native Bees.  She will tell you about our local species, where and how they nest, and their integral role in our ecosystem. 

Then at 1 PM, Mikl teaches us how to Manage Garden Pests Without Using Poisons – increasingly important techniques in our evolving world. Mikl has over 30 years of non-toxic gardening experience and wisdom to share!

We’re so proud to be offering these important classes and hope to see you there!  As always, pre-registration is appreciated and highly recommended for all classes with a quick call to 303-939-9403. 

SUPPLIES​

This year our Bee Barn offers supplies for cultivating some of the Front Range’s 500+ species of native bees as well as the better known European honey bee.

This is the month to start making serious plans for the health of your honey bees.  Varroa mite levels will climb steeply in July, but we have the tools to monitor them and ways to knock them down before they knock your bees down. European Foulbrood has been rearing its ugly head too.  We carry easy-to-use diagnostic kits to determine whether your bees have it and will need to be seen by a vet.

NATIVE BEES

Honey bees aren’t practical for everyone, but our native, mostly solitary bees did ALL of the bee-pollinating in the Americas before the introduction of honey bees from Europe in the 1600s.  They love our weather, soils and native plants. And we love them! This year we’re excited to add a selection of products to help you culture some of these gentle hole nesting bees where you live, including mason bees and leafcutter bees.  Did you know that re-using old nesting tubes or blocks drilled with holes can promote diseases and parasites? We’ve partnered with Crown Bees to bring you responsible, sustainable, clean culture methods, based on the needs of the bees.

Here’s a sample of the items we’re offering. 

Native Bee Chalet

For placing nesting tubes for the current season and an attic for placing the previous season’s bees to emerge in the current season.

Reusable cardboard mason bee tubes with disposable paper liners

For those interested in spring mason bees in particular. Pollinator Pack: Tubes in an assortment of sizes and materials provide nesting holes for a variety of our native bees.

Native Bee Guide Booklet

A brief introduction to just some of the bee species that may nest in your native bee house.

The Mason Bee Revolution book

For those who are seriously into mason bees, early season pollinators.

For more information about Pollinator Partnership, visit their website where you’ll also find additional Programs, Resources and Events.



OUR CLASS OFFERINGS

Call 303-939-9403 to reserve your seat!

Our weekends are loaded with great classes you won’t want to miss! Our customers tell us that our classes have given them tremendous value, with practical and current information from local experts who have spent years honing their skills in Colorado and will help guide you to success. We are charging $15 (unless otherwise stated) for our classes to support our speakers and Harlequin’s educational direction. It is best to pre-register for these classes both in case they fill up, or too few people register and we have to cancel. Pre-payment assures your place in the class. You can register at the nursery, by mail, or by calling 303-939-9403. We are unable to take class registration by email at this time.  Most of our classes run from one-and-a-half to two hours in length, and sometimes longer for hands-on classes, or if there are a large number of questions.  See the complete listing on our website.  

JUNE

Sat, Jun 8, 10 AM to 3 PM      
MUSHROOM CULTIVATION AND IDENTIFICATION HANDS-ON CLASS 
with Zach Hedstrom 

Mushrooms are delicious and healthy, but also shrouded in mystery! Learn more about them in this Mushroom Cultivation and Identification Workshop taught by mycology enthusiast Zach Hedstrom. Plan to leave the class with basic knowledge about how to grow mushrooms, the ways in which fungi can increase ecological vitality, as well as familiarity with the process of identification and various local wild mushroom species. Participants will partake in 2 hands-on mushroom growing activities and take away a log inoculated with Oyster Mushroom spawn that, with proper care, will produce tasty mushrooms for multiple years. Everyone will also receive a handout packet for help in identifying local mushrooms. Participants should bring their own lunch, and weather-appropriate clothing. It will be a day full of fungi, and FUN! Please call to reserve your spot (303-939-9403). $75 per person, 12 person maximum.
 

Sun, Jun 9 at 1 PM           
SUCCESSFUL HOME COMPOSTING 
with Mikl Brawner 

Learn how to turn waste into wealth by cultivating soil microorganisms. Nature does the work if you know how to lend a hand. In this class, you will learn what works in our climate, and what doesn’t. Mikl has been composting for 35 years. Class cost: $15
 


Sun, Jun 16 at 1 PM         
BERRIES & SMALL FRUITS FOR COLORADO 
with Mikl Brawner 

Small fruits are delicious, high in antioxidants, take up less space and bear sooner than trees: strawberries, currants, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries. Learn about the best varieties for Colorado and how to grow them. Class cost: $15.   (NOTE: This class was originally scheduled for Sunday, June 2 at 1 PM.)
 

Sat, Jun 22 at 10 AM           
BENEFICIAL INSECTS 
with Kristina Williams 

Not all insects will harm your garden; and in fact many insects are “good guys” that will not only control garden pests but also help your garden in other ways. Learn how to recognize and attract beneficial insects to your yard and garden. Class cost: $15

 

Sat, Jun 22, 1-2 PM        
HABITAT HERO – WILDSCAPING 101 (FREE!) 
with Laura Somers 

Laura Somers, Wildscape Ambassador, representing Audubon Rockies and Colorado Native Plant Society will demonstrate the importance of restoring our communities, one garden patch at a time. From a birds-eye view, learn how to create wildlife-friendly gardens that help combat the loss of open spaces and create green corridors that link your wildscape to larger natural areas by providing habitat for wildlife.  Free admission!
 

Sun, Jun 23 at 10 AM
COLORADO NATIVE BEES 
with Kristina Williams 

If you have a backyard garden, it’s probably being pollinated by some of Boulder County’s 500+ species of native bees. Kristina will talk about some of the basic types and how you can create bee friendly habitat to invite them to your yard. She will walk you through Harlequins’ demonstration gardens to observe some of these bees in action. An informative class by an experienced bee keeper!  Class cost: $15


 

Sun, Jun 23 at 1 PM           
MANAGING GARDEN PESTS WITHOUT POISONS 
with Mikl Brawner     

Learn how to look for and identify common pests, and how to judge if anything needs to be done. Learn which organic solutions are the most effective, for what, and how to do it. Mikl has been walking this talk for 35 years. Class cost: $15

JULY

Sun, Jul 14 at 1 PM        
TIPS & TRICKS OF XERISCAPE 
with Mikl Brawner

Gardening with less water is not that hard if you know how! There are tricks that will improve your success. Mikl’s will pass on his 30 years of xeriscape experience. Class cost: $15


 

Sat, Jul 20 at 10 AM       
HONEY BEE MEET & GREET 
with Kristina Williams 

Have you ever watched bees coming out of a knothole in an old tree or seen those stacks of boxes near a field and wondered what was inside? Come take a peek inside a working hive of honeybees and chat about what it takes to have a hive of your own or to help bees in general. Please wear long sleeves and pants. Class cost: $15
 

Sat, Jul 20 at 1 PM         
BASIC LANDSCAPE DESIGN 
with Elaine Walker    

Elaine is a landscape architect who will show you the elements of designing areas of your property. Learn how to observe your site, identify goals, take a site analysis, create a comprehensive design, and how to approach installation in manageable pieces. Class cost: $15


 

Sun, Jul 21 at 10 AM     
FORAGING FOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN MUSHROOMS —  P. 1:  REGIONAL MUSHROOM ID 
with Zach Hedstrom 

In this class, you will learn the basics of mushroom identification and what you should know before going out on a hunt. We will also introduce a variety of local mushrooms and their identification features. This is a good class for beginners as well as those who have done some foraging before. Class cost: $15

Sun, Jul 28 at 10 AM     
FORAGING FOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN MUSHROOMS  —  P. 2: FORAGING FIELD TRIP 
with Zach Hedstrom 

In this class, you will take what you learned in the classroom and put it to practice on a mushroom hunting field trip in the mountains. Location given at registration.  Participants should come prepared with water, hats, and weather-appropriate clothing.  Pre-payment required: (303-939-9403).  Zach Hedstrom is a mushroom fanatic and grower at Hazel Dell! Class cost: $15.


AUGUST

Sun, Aug 11 at 1 PM      
PRUNING FOR STRENGTH, HEALTH, AND BEAUTY 
with Mikl Brawner                

Learn how to train young trees, restructure shrubs and trees damaged by storms, and to prune roses. Mikl has over 35 years of experience in pruning. (Repeated on Sep. 15). Class cost: $15


 

Sun, Aug 25 at 1 PM      
LOW TECH GREENHOUSE DESIGN & OPERATION 
with Mikl Brawner   

Mikl has been researching, building, and using simple greenhouses for 20 years. This class will focus on five designs on site at the nursery. Class cost: $15


SEPTEMBER

Sun, Sep 8 at 1 PM         
HOW TO MULCH with Mikl Brawner 

Weedbarrier, wood chips, straw, fine gravel, bark? Which mulches should be used and where? Why is mulching so important? What’s wrong with redwood and cedar? Mikl will discuss these questions and suggest solutions. Class cost: $15


 

Sun, Sep 15 at 1 PM      
PRUNING FOR STRENGTH, HEALTH, AND BEAUTY 
with Mikl Brawner    

Learn how to train young trees, restructure shrubs and trees damaged by storms, and to prune roses. Mikl has over 35 years of experience in pruning. (Repeat of Aug. 11) Class cost: $15
 

OCTOBER 

Sat, Oct 5 from 10 AM to 2 PM           
WHAT TO DO WHEN 
with Kelly Grummons 

Kelly Grummons of Prairie Storm Nursery (coldhardycactus.comdogtuffgrass.com) and plantselect.org will answer those oft-asked gardening questions such as: when do I prune my roses, start tomato seeds, seed grass, put down sod, cut back ornamental grasses, prune lilacs and clematis, apply soil microbes, when to fertilize, transplant perennials, divide iris, etc., etc.  Get the picture?!  Answers provided.  Kelly is one of the region’s preeminent horticulturists, and an expert in natural plant nutrition and pest control. Plan to bring a sack lunch. Class cost: $30
 




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Eve, Mikl
and the super hard-working Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens


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