Going Native at Home
hummingbird zips around its feeder.
"Oooh, he's mad," Bank says. She launches into a lively tale about installing a beehive near her back prairie this year; recently the bees discovered the hummingbird feeder and drained it dry. "But they'll be okay," she says of the birds, gesturing with a tanned arm toward a feast of red, yellow, orange, and purple flowers, chosen for their beak-friendly tubular blooms.
In Bank's approach to gardening, the pretty flowers are only one element in a multifaceted "web of life."
"I've gone native," Bank says with conviction and a smile. It's the theme of talks she gives to gardening clubs, civic groups, and individual home owners. Through her consulting business, the Garden Tutor, she advises home owners about hardy and wildlife-friendly plantings.
Bank, a certified advanced master gardener, has established gardens at her church, Webster United Church of Christ. She's recruited Eagle Scouts to build raised beds there.