Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Gardening #3: Attracting Pollinators

Pollinators are vital to a healthy, productive garden 
This summer, I was more aware of and attentive to the pollinators in my garden. 

Flower pollinators that I saw: 

  • Bees
  • Wasps 
  • Flies
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Beetles
  • Mosquitoes (sigh)

What do pollinators do?

Pollinators are one of the ways that help plants reproduce and, thus, create the fruit and flowers that carry the seeds of the next generation. 

Besides the insects, plants rely on the wind and rain to carry pollen to other flowers or, in some cases, they take care of that process themselves. 

Pollen carries the DNA of the plants and the pollination process 

Helping our Garden Helpers 

In nature, pollinators don’t need our help. But, unfortunately, we have disrupted nature and, thus, disrupted the well-being of our garden helpers. 

To compensate for the unnatural environment, we can: 
  • grow a variety of plants, providing a good food source throughout the year 
  • grow more grasses and weeds and less lawn, providing an environment for caterpillars, supporting the life-cycle of our insects 
  • turn down the night lights, supporting the creatures that prefer the dark 
  • give them homes such as bee hotels and untouched spaces in the garden beds for those insects that live underground
  • eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides 

What flowers should I grow?

As I write this, it is fall and my garden is wrapping up for the year, but it will soon be winter and time for me to buy my seeds for next year. 

My first flowers on my list are those that are native to my region. By adding native plants to my garden I support the natural environment and the natural food sources for the insects that are native to my region. Win; win. 

Some of the native plants that are already growing in my yard are: 
  • Yarrow
  • Columbine
  • Milkweed
  • False indigo 
  • Clover
  • Goldenrod
  • Cup plant
  • Dead nettle
  • Dandelions
This year, “because I’m a gardener now”, I will be growing more flowers to support my pollinators. This seed company focused on plants that are native to North America and to my region. 

Here are some flowers that have caught my attention: 
On my shopping list are:
  • Hyssop
  • Columbine 
  • Coneflower 
  • Blue flax
  • Bergamot
  • Asters

And, then, there is the “best flowers to attract pollinators” list whether the plants are native or not. I want those insects to visit my yard so they will get to my garden plants! 
These are good plants to attract the insect helpers: 
  • Alyssum
  • Calendula
  • Borage 
  • Bee balm 
  • Butterfly bush
  • Marigold
  • Cosmos
  • Chives
  • Sunflowers

There so many options, so many beautiful options! I still have to think about when the flowers bloom. I want to have something in flower throughout the growing season, to not only attract the insects but to provide for them as well, before and after my garden grows! 

My Plan 

My goal has always been to plant something every year, building on what I have. I don’t have to plant everything in one year. 
Now, after living here for almost 40 years, you’d think that I’d have the perfect variety of plants. But, we live, we learn, we change plans, we move things, things die .. and “I just didn’t know”.

“But I’m a gardener now” and I’m more conscious about developing my little garden. Now, I am on a homesteading mission. 
Next year is going to be my best garden year yet!
- Debbie

a simpler life