|False Rue Anemone floral pollen attracts small bees and flies but it has no nectar!|
The Golden Rules for a pollinator friendly garden
*Choose plants that make sense for your garden. Local pollinators have evolved with native plant species and are more likely to be attracted to native plants, you can check with your state native plant society or wildlife garden guides for planting ideas. Yo can also check out the pollinator guides that the Xercis Society has put together.
|Toothwort will form small colonies and then disappears until next spring|
*Plant large swathes of nectar and pollen producing plants. Plant at least three of each plant~Many bees practice flower constancy, working one flower type at a time, so give them a lot of each kind plant and a lot of different plants.
*Plant host plants~don't stop at nectar and pollen plants. The Monarch butterfly is a great example of a pollinator that needs a specific plant, in this case milkweeds, in order to reproduce and live in your garden. There are many others that a plant specific~like my dear Susans/Rudbeckia hirta,~they're a larval host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly.
|the pollen of Hepatica nobilis attracts small bees and flies|
*Avoid hybrid strains with 'doubled' flowers, they often lack pollen, fragrance and nectar as a result of the hybridization. A good way to check a flower out before you bring it home is to observe it for any pollinator visitors while shopping at the nursery. I stay away from pretty flowers that have no visitors and stock up on those that are pollinator hotels!
|Hamamelis vernalis is still blooming|
*Bee sure to include water. Shallow birdbaths, mud puddles or even just a small saucer with sand and rocks helps supply pollinators with the necessary water and minerals they need when ever they are out and about, but especially in the long, hot, dry summers.
*Provide nesting sites for a variety of visitors. Leave a three foot square of bare soil for ground nesting bees and ix-nay on the plastic landscape cloth~bees cannot tunnel through it. Leave decaying logs for beetles and tunneling bees. Build or purchase specialized bee houses...trust me.building your own Pollinator Condominium is a fun project!
*Wait until spring to clean up your garden. Get over thinking that fall means garden clean up time~spring cleaning makes sense! I leave dried flower stalks and grasses standing all winter for hibernating insects. Did you know that many beneficial insects overwinter in decaying leaves and in plant stalks? The one exception is summer phloxes~I always cut down and dispose their stalks in the trash to keep the phlox bug from over wintering and decimating the plant the next season)
*Never, ever, ever, ever, ever use pesticides! You know, I really do mean NEVER!
Your pollinators will thank you! Now, go have fun planning your garden.
In case you want to read earlier pollinator posts~
Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)
Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
We can't All Be Pretty Pollinators (here)
Eye, Eye Skipper, Big Eyed Pollinators (here)
What's In Your Garden (here)
Royalty In The Garden~Monarch Butterfly (here)
Carpenter Bees (here)
It's Spring and A Gardener's Thoughts Are On Pollinators (here)
The Wildflower and The Bee (here)
A Few Good Reasons To Plant Milkweek (here)
Got Shade? You Can Have Pollinators ( (here)
A Pollinator friendly Shrub (here)
Big Goings On at C and L (here)
Where Have All My Pollinators Gone (here)
Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies ( here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)