PRO TIP FOR A MORE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN: POLLINATORS
Meet Brandy Williams, a landscape designer who is passionate about creating pollinator habitats that provide both beauty and sustainability within urban environments.
In 2015, Brandy founded her environmentally-conscious boutique landscaping company, Garden Butterfly. Using her unique talents to create succulent tapestry gardens, Brandy has received awards and widespread recognition for her inspiring work, as well as for her humanitarian and community service.
Her website sums up the mission: “These gardens also provide support for pollinators and beneficial insects when pollinator-beneficial plants and flowering herbs are in the mix and free from harmful chemicals.”
Like so many new gardening enthusiasts who seek non-toxic ways to treat aphid infestations, Brandy would buy cups of lady bugs and apply them to her gardens. Often, she would be disappointed to find that many lady bugs flew away over time.
Her game-changing discovery came when she found the Organic Control’s Lady Bug Lacewing Power Pack.
Organic Control combines 500 ladybugs with 1000 lacewing eggs for a formidable prevention strategy for your garden.
While the ladybugs go to work immediately, the lacewing larvae, known as Aphid Lions, soon hatch and explode onto the scene to plow down all soft-bodied insects in their path. Up close, the lacewing larvae look like anything but babies. Their mandibles pierce, suck, and discard the carcasses of pests such as mites, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, leafhoppers, and more.
The best way to apply the lacewing eggs is to first wash down the plants to clear away dust and large predators. Using a cotton swab, place a few eggs on strategic leaves (central to the plant and unlikely to be hit directly by water from a sprinkler). Several days after this, the grayish-brown guardians of the garden hatch. Although tiny, they are voracious and they go to work immediately, much like a snowplow clearing away the danger. They also devour a great variety of citrus mealbugs and scale (a hard-to-see killer that attaches to the stems, sucking the life from the plants).
These mighty larvae do their work for 2-3 weeks before spinning a small cocoon from which the adult lacewing emerges five days later. Even better, the adult lacewings are homebodies who stay put, laying more eggs that will result in lasting protection for Brandy’s beautiful creations. In warm weather, each lacewing life cycle is completed within one month, causing several generations to occur. Over-wintering is difficult, so lacewings need to be reintroduced each spring.
The increase of life in the garden also attracts beautiful birds, which enhances the sound and feel of Brandy’s urban gardens.
To find a garden center or nursery near you that carries these amazing creatures, click below.