PLANTING FOR POLLINATORS
It’s easy to assume that planting some gorgeous flowers that are a spectacular show for you will work well to bring in the neighbourhood pollinators, but it isn’t quite as simple as that. Us humans tend to have very different taste than our friendly insect friends—after all, we’re planting to have something pretty to look at while pollinators are on the hunt for their next snack.
PLANTING YOUR GARDEN FOR POLLINATORS
If you and your local pollinators don’t have the same taste, how do you convince these beneficial insects to visit your home? Here’s how to plant the right garden for pollinators:
Keep things native and natural. Pollinators recognize the plants that they’ve grown used to over centuries, so planting something native to your area is the perfect way for your pollinators to feel right at home.
Plant variety. Each pollinator is a specialist in one thing or another, so planting a wide variety of plants is the best way to make sure that you’re catering to a whole spectrum of pollinators.
Plant with all seasons in mind. It’s best when pollinators establish your landscape as a regular part of their pollen routine, and the best way to do that is to stagger the blooming times of your plants so that you always have something in season. You’ll love that your landscape is a constant show of color and your pollinators will enjoy reliable food!
Avoid chemicals when possible. Keeping things all-natural is a great way to make sure that you never accidentally harm any pollinators, which is a risk you take with chemicals like pesticides.
Say yes to dandelions. It’s a hard habit to break, but these sunny blooms are important to pollinators and might deserve to be elevated from weed status. It’ll make for a little less work to keep the dandelions around and all for a good cause!
Provide some refreshments and shelter. Pollinators don’t just need a food source, they have other needs, as well. Provide a shallow dish with water and consider leaving some areas of your landscape a little wilder so pollinators have a place to nest and rest.
Pollinators do tons of work to support the health of our plants, so seeing a buzzing bumblebee or a fluttering butterfly isn’t just a visual treat in the garden, it’ll help your plants and the planet, too. Choosing to plant a pollinator-friendly garden isn’t just a great way to add interest to your landscape, but it is also important in supporting struggling populations of creatures that are essential supports for nature.
OUR MOST POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY PLANTS
Not every flower or plant is equal in the eye of pollinators. Choosing a few of these in your landscape is a great way to ensure that you have helpful visitors all summer.
Coneflowers are pretty, daisy-like blooms with their petals splayed around a large, round seed head. As a native flower, local pollinators are quick to recognize them, but you still have all the color choices of a fancy new hybrid bloom, with flowers ranging from muted pastels to intense shades of purple and red.
Butterfly Milkweed might not sound like the type of flower that you want in your garden, but don’t let the name fool you. If you want a way to attract the prettiest of butterflies, this bloom is sure to do the job! Not only do the adult butterflies love to visit these flowers, but their caterpillars love them as a place to grow up, too. Drought-tolerant and native, these plants are simple to care for while bringing heaps of rewards.
Goldenrod brings promises of beautiful golden blooms to your yard, shining most in late summer and autumn. Including this late bloomer in your landscape will not only keep the pollinators visiting your home late in the season, but it will also grace your garden with more late-season color to enjoy. Bees love this flower and you will, too!
Joe Pye Weed is another beautiful bloom hiding behind an uninviting name. Boasting clusters of pink-purple flowers that bloom almost all summer, this flower will help to solidify your yard as a year-round stop for pollinators.
Bee Balm seems like the obvious choice for anyone trying to invite more bees to their home. Their bright purple and red blossoms are a great accent in the landscape, as are the beautiful butterflies and bees that they attract.
Creating a landscape that is inviting to pollinators is a mutually beneficial arrangement, where your garden will enjoy a health boost from these helpful creatures and you’ll be supporting the struggling populations of pollinators that are vital to your area. Planning a garden around pollinators is a perfect way to ensure that there is flair for you to enjoy all year, with bright colors and endless styles of plants. It shouldn’t be surprising that the better we make our garden for pollinators, the better it is for us!