According to the National Audubon Society, ”one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, the equivalent of 11,000 miles of car emissions.” However, planting a pollinator garden to attract butterflies and bees helps stem the tide of a much more disastrous threat to our environment – the decline of pollinators.
Not only is a beautiful pollinator garden the ideal way to brighten up the exterior of your home, but it also promotes pollination – the most important of ecosystem services as it’s necessary for the reproduction of 60–70% of all plant species and 35% of global crop production.
Creating a beautiful native garden for pollinators that includes multiple varieties of butterflies, bees and birds can be done by even the most novice gardener. Begin by choosing flowers that are heat and drought-tolerant. Annuals and perennials provide a long summer of color in your garden beds or containers with occasional watering. Here are a few specific options to consider:
Hibiscus plants adore full sun and humidity with a range of colors from pink to red, orange, yellow, purple, white and even green. They grow well in a garden bed or potted in a container on a patio.
Asclepias, better known as milkweed, is an essential source of food for Monarch butterflies. Milkweed is easily grown with its small clusters of blooms and is unfazed by dry conditions.
Hummingbirds love the sweet nectar found in honeysuckle’s tubular blooms that perfume the air with a soft, sweet scent. It can also thrive in pots on a sunny balcony or porch.
Blueberries are also considered an easily grown plant. Its bushes provide beautiful foliage and offer succulent berries for consumption by both humans and birds. Sometimes it’s a struggle as to who gets to their juicy sweetness first.
Plant Penstemon, with its tubular-shaped flowers in pink, red or purple with its beautiful foliage in shades of burgundy. It attracts hummingbirds and bees.
Liatris Vinca (periwinkle) is a drought-tolerant annual that flourishes in sandy soil with beautiful tiny flowers.
Lantana is an annual that prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Pollinators and hummingbirds love it.
Easy to grow Zinnias offer pops of bright colors that attract bees and butterflies, and they will continue to bloom into late fall.
These are all hardy native plants that are both drought and sun-tolerant. You can also find many others to choose from that provide beauty, color and nourishment for our most important pollinators. Visit your local nursery or garden store for additional choices. You can also source plants from a variety of online retailers like White Flower Farm. White Flower Farm is a family-owned mail-order nursery located in northwest Connecticut and has been in business since 1950. They provide a wide range of perennials, annuals, bulbs, vines, shrubs, etc., plus gardening tools, supplies and gifts.