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Simple Steps to a Pollinator Garden

Gardening for pollinators doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. In fact, you can have a stunning pollinator garden with three simple plants. 
What you want is to have a food source for the adults, such as monarch butterflies, skippers, and bees. Next you want to have something for their young or the caterpillars to eat if you are gardening for a specific creature, such as the monarch. 

The first step is to scope out an area of the landscape that is well draining and receives a lot of sun. Many of the more popular pollinator plants thrive in drier sites in the full sun.  Next, pick three plants of different heights. Now mark out enough space to have at least three, preferably seven or nine if you can manage it, of each plant. The reason why we want multiples of each plant is to create visual impact in the garden as well as make it easier for pollinators to find your garden. Then install your new plants in sweeping bands if you can for an even greater visual impact.

One simple garden plan is a generous stand of Echinacea, we love ‘Magnus’, and in front of that, a band of Asclepias tuberosa, (Asclepias, or milkweeds, are the sole food source for monarch caterpillars) and then a band of large leaf lamb’s ears for great color contrast. Or, if you want even more blooms, a short, compact variety of Nepeta is a nice option.

You now have an abundance of plants for pollinators and their young. 

What’s next is to elevate the garden to a new level. We add a hardscape element such as a path or curving wall to accentuate the garden. A flowering patio tree at the end of the garden is nice, and the bees will thank you. We should also consider incorporating some focal points to extend the visual interest of the garden through winter. This can be accomplished with the use of a large ornamental urn or other piece of garden art. Should space and time permit, we also like adding a water feature. Everything from the birds to the tiny honeybees require fresh water. 

If you would like to improve your existing garden or create a new garden, call us. We will work with you to design a garden that fits your landscape, your budget as well as your time. Or should you wish to create an extensive garden, we can help with the maintenance, too.

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