Why Pollinator Gardens are Important, and How to Build One
Why Should I Welcome Pollinators into My Garden?
Is it important to attract bees and butterflies into your garden? By welcoming bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, you are paying attention to the overall health and strength of your garden. Bees pollinate as they go from flower to flower. While visiting flowers in your garden, bees help your flowers reproduce and therefore help your garden grow.
Bees gain their own much needed nutrients through pollination. They are gathering the food needed to feed their colonies. As we plant flowering varieties in our gardens, we are assuring bees have enough to eat. In turn, thriving bee colonies work to pollinate our crops and help sustain our ecosystem!
Planting for Pollinators
There are many varieties to choose from for your garden. Some of our suggestions include: Eranthis ‘Cilicica’ (Winter Aconite), Chinodoxa ‘Forbesii’ (Glory of the Snow), spring flowering crocus, and Iris reticulata (dwarf iris). Bees love to visit these attractive blooms and receive important nutrients.
Choosing Blooms Pollinators Will Love
Eranthis ‘Winter Aconite’ grows to a height of 10 cm (4”) and is deer resistant. This fragrant yellow bloom is important to pollinators as it is able to face unpredictable late winter weather conditions and therefore will provide an early food source for pollinators.
Chionodoxa (‘Glory of the Snow’) is also a great option to add beauty and to welcome the pollinators to your garden. Available varieties are ‘Forbesii’ (blue), ‘Pink Giant’ and ‘Alba’ (white). The waxy texture of the Chionodoxa blooms give them resilience to late winter flurries. They grow to 15 cm (6”), are deer resistant and readily return to bloom every year.
Snow crocus also make great early spring pollinators. ‘Early Gold’ adds a bright yellow colour, while the large flowering crocus mix will give you a range of colour in your garden for pollinators to enjoy. Both of grow to 10 cm (4”) tall and are great for naturalizing and landscaping.
With their interesting colours and shapes, dwarf iris are a fun addition to the garden which bees will be thankful to see. ‘Alida’ is a unique bright blue bloom with lighter edges and a fall with a bright yellow centre which adds a nice pop of interest to your garden. ‘Katherine’s Gold’ is a soft yellow iris that is attractive not only to pollinators but to gardeners as well. Both ‘Alida’, ‘Katherine’s Gold’ and other dwarf iris are 15 cm (6”) tall and enjoy full to part sun.