This past week was pollinator week across North America pollinatorpartnership.ca and the emphasis was on raising awareness on the importance of pollinators and how to attract and protect them. We should all know about the effects of pesticides like neonicotinoids on bees and gardening more responsibly. After all, whats a few holes in leaves and hand picking pest only brings you closer to nature! Go to any of the sites to learn more on pollinators and enjoy the photos I’ve taken of the busy microcosm in my garden 🙂
What amazes me is how early I see honey bees, sometimes as early as late March. As soon as the first snowdrops unfurl their petals, the bees come. All spring bulbs act as a magnet for bees so make sure you plant them in the fall for that first important food source.
My Korean lilac never fails to attract the eastern swallowtail butterfly and I look forward to seeing them every May.
Don’t forget to plant for the caterpillars either. Swallowtail larvae love parsley and dill.
Everyone thinks of honeybees when one says bee but there is a whole family of bees ranging from the large solitary carpenter bee to tiny bees.
Bees aren’t the only pollinators either. Butterflies, hover flies, beetles some wasps and of course hummingbirds and even bats all help pollinate our wonderful plant world.
Be sure to plant for season long flowers. Beebalm and asters provide fall fuel for bees getting ready to hibernate and monarchs preparing to fly down to Mexico. A wonerful little know fall bloomig shrub is the Heptacodium or Seven-sons flower. It attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds in abundance.
As a general rule butterflies like flat flowers like daisies that they can land on, hummingirds love tubular or bell shaped flowers and bees like all flowers!
No matter how large or small your garden, its easy to grow both beautiful and beneficial plants and bring a bit of nature into your world. We’ll all be better for that!
Happy Gardening 🙂