What’s the Buzz? Pollinator Week 2017

Published by Bucks Country Gardens in Lawn & GardenPlants

It’s time to have a talk about the birds and bees… pollinators that is. In 2006, the US Senate officially set aside time to observe and recognize the importance of pollinators. That reorganization has grown into National Pollinator Week (June 19 – 25, 2017), where volunteers across the US celebrate and learn about how to protect pollinators by planting gardens, helping scientists study pollinators, and learning about actions to take at home to promote healthy pollinator populations. Bucks Country Gardens is participating (see below for info)!

Why all the buzz (excuse the pun) about pollinators? They help support healthy ecosystems by aiding in producing clean air, stabilizing soil against severe weather, and supporting other wildlife. Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we take in every day and assisting over 80% of flowers in their seed production. The pollinators, looking for food, move pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma to accomplish fertilization. Pollinators run the gamut from ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths, and wasps to wind and water. Important as these pollinators are, increasing evidence suggests that many are in decline. So let’s do our part to attract them to our gardens. It’s easy, rewarding, and naturally beautiful.

This is where Bucks Country Gardens comes in! Our Garden Center has a wide variety of plants and products to attract pollinators and make them feel welcome. For the best pollinator garden, select from plants that bloom from early spring into fall. Plant in clumps rather than single and mix up the shapes, sizes, and colors. Provide a water source, such as a birdbath or shallow bowl. Pollinators will have a field day!

Wonder what certain pollinators prefer? We laid out what bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds enjoy.

Bees

Every garden needs pollinators and bees are among the best. They can visit 50 to 100 flowers in a day. Talk about busy bees! They are attracted to single bright white, yellow, or blue flowers with contrasting ultraviolet patterns. They prefer flowers with a fresh, mild, or pleasant fragrance and an area that is sunny and wind protected.

What plants to get:

Perennials and Annuals

  • Aster
  • Lavender
  • Bee balm
  • Mint
  • Borage
  • Poppy
  • Geranium
  • Rosemary
  • Hyssop
  • Sage

Trees, Shrubs and Fruit

  • Almond
  • Pear
  • Cherry
  • Raspberry
  • Linden
  • Lilac

Butterflies

What a lovely addition to any garden. Butterflies prefer flowers that are bright red and purple with a faint, but fresh fragrance. A flat stony area for sun bathing and a little water puddle completes the welcome.

What plants to get:

Perennials and Annuals

  • Aster
  • Lavender
  • Bee balm
  • Marigold
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Oregano
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Phlox
  • Delphinium
  • Sage
  • Dianthus
  • Scabiosa
  • Hollyhock
  • Shasta Daisy

Perennials and Annuals that attract butterfly larvae (caterpillars)

  • Borage
  • Milkweed
  • Fennel
  • Nettle
  • Grasses
  • Thistle
  • Hollyhocks
  • Willow
  • Lupine

Hummingbirds

Okay, who doesn’t marvel at hummingbirds in their garden? One summer I spent hours watching two juvenile hummingbirds playing catch and bump throughout my garden. They are attracted to hummingbird feeders, but honestly, I always have more visiting my flowers than my feeders. They are attracted to scarlet, orange, red, or white tubular-shaped flowers with no distinct fragrances.

What plants to get:

Perennials and Annuals

  • Bee Balm
  • Impatiens
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Lantana
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Liatris
  • Coral Bells
  • Penstemon
  • Foxglove
  • Petunia
  • Fuchsia
  • Phlox
  • Hollyhocks
  • Verbena

As you can see, quite a variety of plants will help attract pollinators to your garden, however in my experience, the workhorse of all pollinators is the Zinnia.  Every year, I plant red zinnias from seed (so easy). I plant some directly in the ground and some in pots scattered about the garden. Once in bloom, they are never without pollinators: bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds.  All the plants listed are just a sampling of what you can choose from at Bucks Country Gardens. If you would prefer a more extensive list, please come in and we would be happy to help. So get out there and grow your pollinator garden. Happy gardening!

Bucks Country Gardens is participating in Pollinator Week! June 19-25 we will have pollinator garden demos, activities for kids, videos, and info. To see an updated list of scheduled activities, visit our events page on our website or follow us on social media. We can’t wait!

Written by:
Marilyn Fanning | Greenhouse Design & Sales