Louisville Magazine

AUG 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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88 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.19 species storing energy for winter). Grasses that supply hollowed stocks for native bee hibernation are a good choice, and hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn in spring to the colorfully named hairy beardtongue. "ink about the full growing season," Shea says. "Sometimes people forget about having a nectar source available throughout the growing season. You need a mixture of species that flower at different times." Idlewild Butterfly Farm, which opened in 2015, is another resource for insect-friendly native plants. "You don't have to build your pollinator-monarch garden all in one season," Blair Leano- Helvey says. "You can just add to it each season. Even when we deal with folks who have lawn care, we can dedicate just one corner, and if they're not going to spray (pesticides) it can be impactful. We also have some pollinator plants that do well in pots on balconies or decks." Leano-Helvey and her staff protect butterflies in an outdoor "flight house," a wire-enclosed aviary that features a variety of mostly annual plants the insects favor. An incubation area inside with aquarium- like tanks is used to hatch out some of the monarch and swallowtail chrysalises. conducted stream rehabilitations. Before she began, invasives dominated some areas that had been farmed and logged, particularly fescue grasses that had been planted for raising cattle. While rebuilding Bernheim, she says, "I couldn't find any local sources for native plants. I had to go to Chicago or Missouri to find seeds or plant materials." Fifteen years ago, she opened Dropseed, thinking she'd do the installation and maintenance of pollinator gardens for local residents and businesses. (Carreiro was one of her first customers.) However, sales to home gardeners purchasing native plants have grown so much in recent seasons that she no longer performs installations. ere are approximately 200 species potted and for sale in her greenhouse and in surrounding outside areas. Many Dropseed plants are grown from seed by Shea or divided from the previous year's crop. "I collect them and then typically I'll start a bed here or other places where I have seed-production plots," she says. "I never dig in the wild, which disturbs the site and makes it possible for invasives to move in." Her knowledge of the state's unique natural areas and network of acquaintances that call her when they locate something new keep her inventory expanding. "I love, love, love going out and finding new species and collecting the seeds from them," she says. Shea recommends first removing invasive plants, pointing to bush honeysuckle, burning bush and English ivy as main offenders that spread and take over surrounding environs. "ese ornamental plants are really harmful to our environment on a big scale," she says. e plants she most often recommends for homeowners starting a pollinator garden are those that serve as nectar sources. ey include mountain mints (parasitoid wasps are drawn to them), coneflowers (they bloom in summer for up to a month and later provide a good seed source for birds) and asters and goldenrods (as fall bloomers, they supply needed nectar for monarchs preparing for that long migration to Mexico or other Preserving pollinators is now being seen as a first line of defense against the biodiversity crisis. Margaret Carreiro at her home off Trevilian Way; above, bee balm.

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