GARDENING HEALTH

Gardening: The Birds, Bees, & Butterflies

June 25th, 2013 No Comments

Parterre2If you’ve noticed that your edible plants are not producing very well, you may have a pollinating issue.  Insects, butterflies, and yes, even the dreaded stingers, the bees are an intricate part of any healthy garden.  Next time you are out in your garden, take a while to simply stop, have a look and listen.  Do you see a lot of activity or hear a lot things?  Even when it comes to your non-edible plants, pollination is still a key part of their health.

 

In this post I’m going to highlight what plants will attract these wonderful garden helpers. Whether you want more food or just a fuller, livelier patch.  Best thing to remember though, is that all of these creatures love nectar and pollen rich plants.  Please note that this post only has some of the plants that can be used to attract pollinators to your garden.  🙂  It would be a very, very long post if I tried to put everything that would catch their eye.  😉

 

GENERAL TIPS

  • Don’t Use Pesticides.  Why?  Well, most of them are not picky about the type of insects they kill.  So along with the unwanted visitors to your garden, pesticides could also be killing off those who could be a great benefit.
  • Use Native Plants.  This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ll say it anyway.  Things that are native to your area are going to be far better at attracting insects.  Do some research, it won’t take long, and you’ll have a better chance at enticing these helpers.  This post will have lists of plants, but not all of them may be suitable to your area.
  • Taste the Rainbow.  Bees and other insects are attracted to bright colours and often have a keen eye for these rainbow plants in your garden.  Besides, a little cheery brightness is a wonderful sight for you too.
  • The More the Merrier.  Plant your colourful insect attracting plants in tight clumps.  A bunch of the same type will be far better than scattering them individually.  Try to go four groups at least 120cm (4 feet) in diameter.
  • All Shapes & Sizes.  Variety is the spice of life.  Pollinating insects come in all shapes and sizes, and as a result they like and need plants that match their diversity.  Don’t be afraid to plant several different types of flowering plants, in wide ranges of sizes and shapes.
  • All Year ‘Round.  If you live in an area that gets too cold this will not be reasonable for you, as the insects will be gone for the winter.  However, if you live where your year is generally mild (no snow, frost, and temperate climates) having plants that will keep your garden in flower year around is ideal.
  • A Cozy Spot.  Bees and most pollinating insects like sunny spots that also keeps them protected from winds.  Try planting near backing shrubs, garden walls, or sturdy plants that are capable of braising against wind but won’t overshadow the sunny spot.

 

Bee

Plants for Attracting Bees

 

 

orange_butterfly_by_riviera2008

Plants for Attracting Butterflies

 

 

stock_hummingbird_by_dip_in_road-d69f6yd

Plants for Attracting Nectar Feeding Birds

(such as Hummingbirds, Sunbirds, Honeyeaters)

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)

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