This hummingbird moth is one of many species that absolutely loves the native flowers here in PA! It particularly enjoys this Bee Balm flower.
Animals, Backyard Habitats, birds, conservation, Endangered Species, Flowers, Gardening, Plants, Seasons, The Art of Ecology, Wildlife Behavior

It’s finally Gardening season – Make it pollinator friendly!

If you’re into gardening or just being out in nature, chances are, you enjoy flowers! Their vibrant colors, textured foliage and sweet fragrances are pleasing. In fact, it’s not just flowers that you like by many other plants including fruits and vegetables!

Without pollinators like birds, bats, bees, butterflies, moths and other insects, these beautiful, enriching parts of our lives would not exist. In fact, 80% of our food that we eat is made possible by pollinators. Not only would the beauty of the world start to fade, but so would our ability to eat.

Pollinator populations have been in decline since 2006 and studies have shown that beekeepers have lost 30%+ of their hives annually since then! Surveys and citizen science projects have also shown a decline in other species. This decline could be because of habitat loss (lack of nesting sites and wildflower destruction), increased pesticide usage, and parasites.

bumblebee on mint small
Remember, bees aren’t the only pollinators! We want to attract many species, from insects to birds, to the garden.

Fortunately, there are some easy things that we can do to help bolster their populations! Whether you’re in an urban or rural setting, you can plant a pollinator garden. For urban sites, think about using raised beds, containers, and trellises to use vertical, rather than horizontal, space. In rural areas, consider naturalizing your yard or portions of it and allowing wildflowers to grow.

A pollinator garden is a wonderful thing to have. It adds beauty, dimension, and fragrance to the garden, and it’s easy to create! A pollinator garden should include plants that provide nectar and  pollen, water, sun, windbreakers, native plants (or at least non-invasives), blooms throughout the entire growing season, and lack harsh chemical pesticides.

A pollinator garden should include at least some natives. These plants are not only adapted to your local climate and therefore are easy to maintain, but have co-evolved with the pollinators that will be coming to your yard! For a list of natives in your region, click here.

Planting flowers in a variety of colors will help attract different things. For instance, hummingbirds like red, while many butterflies and moths like purple.
Planting flowers in a variety of colors will help attract different things. For instance, hummingbirds like red, while many butterflies and moths like purple.

Another good tip is to use things other than flowers to feed these pollinators. Put up hummingbird feeders, bird seed, and butterfly feeders (old fruit like bananas or oranges will attract them and salt will provide them with valuable minerals).

Always ensure that there’s habitat for these pollinators to make a home in this garden. Add larval plants for butterflies to lay their eggs on and create a bee house by drilling some holes into a fallen log.

Once you’ve created your garden, or are in the process of it – add your name to the list of Pollinator Gardeners and sign the pledge saying that you’ll help boost this at risk population! You’ll be surprised how many others are doing the same.

Make sure that you plant evening-blooming flowers so that nocturnal pollinators (moths/bats) get a chance to be involved!
Make sure that you plant evening-blooming flowers so that nocturnal pollinators (moths/bats) get a chance to be involved!

Interested in bringing the beauty of the garden inside? Click here to purchase any one of these photos and use the photo names below during your order! You can also visit my etsy site, The Art of Ecology, and place an order there.

  • Hummingbird Moth from Pollinator Garden
  • Bumble on Mint
  • Purple as a Favorite Color
  • Luna Moth

Also – special for Earth Day -all photography is 10% off (includes photo gifts)! Remember, a portion of the proceeds goes towards wildlife conservation, habitat preservation, and environmental education! Purchase by April 17th, 2018 to get before Earth Day and by April 22nd, 2018 to receive discount.

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