Bees visiting lavender plants

When it comes to doing our part to sustain our environment, understanding and accommodating bees and other pollinators is an easy way to get involved. While there are many flowering trees and shrubs that also attract bees, June is historically known for perennials. In fact, June is Perennial Gardening Month and perennials that attract pollinators to your garden will be our focus all month long. To begin, here are some helpful tips for inviting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds into your garden.

Provide Me Shelter

Even pollinators need shelter. To help them create their habitat add hedges, trees and shrubs that can provide this needed protection. One battle cry of pollinator friendly folks is "leave the leaves"!  By leaving piles of leaves, fallen logs or bundles of tree limbs you'll help create a native area that will allow pollinators to hide from their predators. So consider leaving the leaves.

Give Me Water

Pollinators need a drink of water also, so provide a water source if you want to attract more pollinators to your garden. Birdbaths, fountains and bubblers all help to create this much needed place to stop and get a drink.  

Make it Muddy

What? Yep, both butterflies and bees benefit from having access to mud. Female Mason bees use it when laying their eggs for next year's hatch. Butterflies actually use mud to absorb the salt they they need to be healthy.

Feed Me

When in doubt be sure to feed your pollinators.  We recommend hanging a suet feeder in your yard.  You can buy a pre-made suet that fits right in your suet holder, or just stuff your suet feeder with overripe fruit.  Watermelon happens to be a favorite of butterflies, as they love to feast on the watermelon juice. 

Butterflies definitely have this in common with me.

Consider How you Garden

If you really want to attract pollinators, it may be necessary to consider using less toxic horticulture soaps and horticulture oils, instead of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.  While these sprays are very effective at removing harmful insects, unfortunately, they can also harm beneficial insects in the process. 

The Best Way

Plant on assortment of nectar rich flowering annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. By planting them in succession, based on their flowering times, it's possible for your garden to be in flower almost all year long.  Making it a frequent stop for visiting pollinators.  

*Jingle Jingle* Look out birds!

 

While we've talked mostly about how to attract bees and birds to your garden, there are number of other pollinators including both bats and slugs.  But for birds, please don't forget the obvious -- make sure Kitty has a bell on her collar!