Pollinator-Friendly Gardening

“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

This trend of gardening has increased in popularity.  It isn’t hard to create a healthy habitat – Bees are easy to please!  Bees are by far the most popular pollinator in the garden, but other pollinators also help out including butterflies, other insects, even birds! 

What does pollination mean?
– pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part to the female part of the flower allowing for fertilization and reproduction of plants
– some plants will produce seeds as a result of self-pollination (transfer of pollen within the same plant), other plants require cross pollination (transfer of pollen between different plants)
– pollination can be done by wind, or by animals (pollinators) including primarily bees, butterflies, moths and other insects (birds, bats and other animals can be pollinators as well)

Why are these gardens important?
– the population of these beneficial insects are declining due to a loss of habitat, food sources and exposure to certain pesticides
– by creating a planting that will provide habitats, the gardens will attract pollinators and perhaps protect their future generations
– these pollinators are often working behind the scenes helping to make plants healthier and creating beautiful harvests in our veggie gardens

Including a Pollinator-Friendly Garden
– pollinators are attracted to flowers by their colour and scent not location
– plantings can be in containers, window boxes or actual garden beds
– include plants that provide consistent blooms from spring to fall to ensure that food is available during the entire growing season
– choose plants that are native to your area
– pollinators are attracted to plants that have flowers with bright colours; especially blue, yellow, red and violet
– choose a selection of flowers that appeal to different pollinators
– try some heirloom varieties to ensure plenty of scent and nectar

Additional Components:
– Bee Houses
– Open patches of bare ground and dead wood branches for nesting sites
– Water sources such as a small container of water, changing the water often
– Avoid the use of pesticides

Visit Dufferin Garden Centre for more ideas on how to incorporate pollinator-friendly plants into your garden.