|An oasis amid U. S. government buildings|
On a visit to the National Botanical Gardens, situated in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, I was able to see a sample of a pollinator garden.
A sign in the garden provided the following tips.
- Use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Include native plants. Remember night-blooming flowers too.
- Eliminate pesticides whenever possible. Many common pesticides are dangerous for bees.
|Notice the pollen on the bee's legs|
- Avoid hybrid "doubled" flowers that have little pollen ot nectar.
- Include larval host plants. If you want butterflies, grow plants for their caterpillars to eat.
|A Swallowtail butterfly enjoying the nectar from a lantana|
- Create a damp salt lick for butterflies and bees. Create a muddy area and mix in a bit of salt or wood ashes. Sea salt has more micronutrients than table salt.
- Put out slices of overripe bananas, oranges, or other fruits for butterflies.
- Spare that limb! Leave an occasional dead limb or tree to provide essential nesting sites for native bees. Make sure thay are not a safety hazard for people.
|Marian's photo of a Ruby-throated hummingbird at a feeder|
For additional information on pollinators, contact The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Also, stop in and pick up a copy of our own handout on Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to the Garden. It is an invaluable resource listing plants for larval feeding and nectar production.