It seems everyone is talking about bee and pollinator gardens these days! Tilly has helped homeowners from California to Long Island design pollinator friendly spaces. Here are some simple tips on how to attract pollinators that the whole family can help with:
Bees, Butterflies or Bats? Decide which Pollinators you would like to attract and then you can work with a designer to determine what plants and flowers will attract them (and look beautiful!)
Design for the Home Team: Choose native plants. Native pollinators are adapted to them and the plants are used to the native soil – it’s putting your best foot forward to succeed.
Shape & Size Matter! When selecting plants choose a variety of flower shapes, sizes and colors because the larger the diversity of plants the more pollinators you will attract. It’s important to have plants that bloom through the year to provide pollinators with an ongoing food source. Ideally, you want at least three different plants in bloom each season.
For example, for bees the best option is a single flower top, such as daisies or marigolds, rather than double flower tops such as impatiens. Double headed flowers look great, but produce much less nectar, making it more difficult for bees to access pollen.
Treat others how you want to be treated!! Your pollinators want a place to relax and refresh, just like you! Complete their habitat with bird baths, fountains, or shallow dishes for some R&R time. Sticks and twigs, bee houses or extra soil can also be used to attract solitary bees and other pollinators.
#CleanGardening: Avoid using herbicides or pesticides which can be toxic for pollinators.
Why are Pollinator Gardens Important?
Animal pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bats and birds – among others! They facilitate reproduction in over 90% of the world’s flowering plants and in the production of most fruits and vegetables. One third of human food crops such as cucumber, melons, tomatoes, almonds, onions and strawberries are pollinated by animals! The Honey bee colony populations have dropped by fifty percent since 1945 and pollinator habitats have declined significantly due to factors such as loss of habitat, decreased food quality and pesticide use…. Pollinators keep our eco-system in check and running smoothly!