National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.
Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership.
Over the years, I've been establishing more habitat at my house to support pollinators and all the other critters that live there. I welcome them and want a healthy ecosystem around me. I've worked hard to incorporate native plants into my gardens. This year I said no more plants, I'm out of room. Then someone said "Do you want more plants?" and I said "of course I do." And I set out to dig up some more sod and plant another garden. What can I say, I'm a sucker for plants.
Last year I put in another new garden (again, after saying no more plants) and got really smart and labelled all my plants. My plant knowing friends were getting pretty sick of me sending them texts with baby plants to help identfiy them. I found these cute labels and I highly recommend them. I ordered them, had them within two days. AND I bought some for my sister who is impossible to buy presents for because she can be quite particular. She loved them. Win win!
So here are some of the plants in my gardens that are great for pollinators. Photos up above. I encourage you to visit our Rain Gardens and Native Plants page for information on where to find native plants, as going native can be challenging sometimes. Also, we sell native seeds year round and native plant kits twice a year. The order deadline for Fall delivery is July 17th - so get crackin'.
Also, for our native plant kits, I've made an excel sheet with all the plants in each kit with height, spread, light preference, etc etc. It's a great reference when you order a kit and want to plan out your garden.
It's important to incorporate plants that are blooming throughout the season from April thru late September. I also leave the stems on my plants thru the winter. Critters use these for food, shelter and places to raise their young. I don't clean up my gardens until after Mothers Day in the Spring. Also, the decaying material adds organic material to our soil which we desperately need. Let's make sure we provide for our pollinators and other critters all year long.
Here are some in my gardens;
- Ohio Spiderwort
- Common Milkweed
- Blazing Star
- Blue Star
- Culvers Root
- Sunflowers (annual, but they are a must at my house)
- Rattlesnake Master
- Bee Balm
- Butterfly Weed
- Wild Senna
These are just some of my plants. I've added the pollinator plant kit to my yard this year which had some familiar faces but also some new ones I didn't have before. And I'm sure next year I will say "no more plants" as I purchase more plants.
Oh and for a good laugh, here is a video I made in the early Spring about some of my plants. The laugh is at the end when I attempt to say the latin names of the plants. It's not pretty.
Blog author: Amy Roskilly, Conservation Education & Communications Manager