Pollinator Friendly Gardens

When I walk into my yard I am greeted by a gloriously diverse menagerie of tiny winged creatures.

August 28, 2013 | | Notes from the Wild

My garden is abuzz at this time of year with the life affirming hum of honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees and wasps. The fluttering of butterflies and day flying moths contributes to the biotic exuberance.

Gardening for pollinators is an act of hope, an act of healing. Attracting winged throngs is a simple, entertaining and fascinating way to thumb your nose at the relentless human-wrought destruction of the natural world.

Such affirmative action is remarkably easy to take. Choose a sunny or partially sunny spot in your yard, turf the turf, and plant pollinator friendly flowers. Water and wait. The bees will come.

There are many plants that are suitable for such a venture. Annual flowers – impatiens, geraniums, marigolds – are not. When I first started gardening I was seduced by the bold, colourful annuals and thought not a whit about their miserable contribution to environmental health.

I began, though , to notice woe-begotten bumblebees drift forlornly from annual blossom to annual blossom searching in vain for life giving nectar and pollen. Most annual flowers have had their ancestral connection to the natural world bred out of them. They may as well be wrought of silk or plastic.

I evolved as a gardener. I still plant annuals but now, when I purchase a plant, the first value I consider is whether it will serve the pollinators. This isn’t entirely magnanimous on my part. Yes the environment benefits, but so do I. When I walk into my yard I am greeted by a gloriously diverse menagerie of tiny winged creatures.

Great pollinator plants are numerous. Please refer to the links below for suggestions. And then, if you haven’t done so already, take a small step to heal the world. Plant a pollinator garden and welcome the buzzing of blissful bees.

bald faced hornet on bloodflower bumblebee on Joe Pye cuckoo wasp on fleabane Tri-colored bumblebee on green headed coneflower
Tri-colored bumblebee on green headed coneflower

More Info

These organizations have a wealth of information on how to create pollinator friendly gardens:

And talk to your local grower or garden centre.


About the Author More by Don Scallen

Don Scallen enjoys sharing his love of nature through his writing and presentations. Check out his blog "Notes from the Wild".

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