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Rain and Bees

March 9, 2015
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What a miserably, gloomy day. It has rained almost all day long, sometimes harder than others. That coupled with all the melted snow leads to some soggy yards. I had an early morning photo shoot at UAMS for an ad they are doing, then it was off to the office to get some Powerpoints and handouts done–luckily I got all my columns written Friday night at the hotel in Mt. Home, so I got caught up. I had a money management meeting all afternoon then headed to White County to speak to the Searcy Beekeepers. I left LR at 3:50 and it took me over 1 1/2 hours to get to Searcy. Traffic, coupled with the weather did not make for a pleasant drive. Add to that the horrible potholes this winter weather has left behind–(particularly bad around Jacksonville) and it was a mess. I am glad I don’t drive that way on a regular basis with commuter traffic!

They had a great group of beekeepers and MGs for their monthly meeting. I spoke on plants that attract bees and we had a lot of questions. searcy beekeepers.mar15.1

searcy beekeepers.mar15.4 After my session, they had some show and tell of beekeeping items, here is a homemade bee box. searcy beekeepers.mar15.5 They had refreshments, then a question and answer session before we ended at 8. IT was a very hospitable group and they are getting ready to host a free three-week bee course on Monday nights starting March 30 and the next two Mondays. Contact the White co. extension office for more information.

If possible, the drive home was worse than the drive up, only less traffic. The rain made it hard to see and I was happy to be pulling into my driveway! Tomorrow morning I leave early to head to Shirley for a community vegetable meeting from 10-12.

On top of a busy schedule, this springing forward is not near as easy as falling backward!

Here are your mystery plants for the week and the answers from last week:

Mystery plant A – afgs2015.041 is actually a winter hardy agave. Chris Olsen swears by them, and said his even survived last winter. The variegated one will not survive without protection.

Mystery plant b – afgs2015.066 This is a dwarf, open form of Delphinium. The airy loose flowers are still showy, but the plant is supposed to be more heat tolerant than the larger flowering forms. This cool season perennial is new, so we need to try it and see how it lasts.

Mystery plant C – mystery plantc march2.

mystery plant c march 2.15 There were quite a few guesses for this one. These are pictures sent to me to identify from a plant growing outdoors in NW Arkansas. I believe it is a loquat, which should not be surviving up there. Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, also called Japanese plum is in the rose family and can form a small evergreen tree. Loquat has been cultivated in Asia for at least 1,000 years and was introduced into the U.S. sometime before 1879. Generally, the loquat tree blooms in the fall and fruits in early spring. However, in tropical climates, the tree may flower 2 or 3 times a year. Fruits are not that common in Arkansas, tending to freeze in the winter. I wouldn’t think it could survive winter north of central Arkansas although according to the University of Florida: Loquat trees are very cold tolerant and may withstand temperatures down to 8° to 10°F. However, the flowers and fruit are killed by temperatures below 27°F. Temperatures above 95°F may negatively affect loquat tree growth.

Here are the mystery plants for the week:

Mystery plant A – mystery plant A mar9.15 (1)

mystery plant A mar9.15 (2) is a non-hardy herb.

Mystery plant B – mystery plant b.mar9.15 (3)

mystery plant b.mar9.15 (2) is a small evergreen shrub.

Mystery plant C- mystery plant c march 9.15 is a summer blooming non-hardy bulb. This was sent to me for ID in an email.

Good Luck.

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