Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring on the Butterflies and Bees

Butterfly and Nepeta   
Attracting pollinators to the landscape is an important focus with gardeners.  Articles and postings on the honeybee collapse disorder has brought attention to the need to diversify plantings and include ones that attract bees.  Hobbyist gardeners growing fruits and vegetables understand the importance of pollinators.  Butterfly gardens have long been a favorite for children's gardens and science curriculum gardens.  
It's recommended that plants for pollinator gardens include both flowers and fruit.  A high continuous bloom is a must for bees.  Different heights and colors are important too.  Including trees, shrubs, perennials and edibles will provide the necessary canopy layers. Planting in groups is one of the recommended design tips.  Also, it's important to read labels and avoid or limit pesticide use. Bees prefer plants in the blue, yellow, and white ranges.  Of course, butterflies like all colors including bright ones.  Hummingbirds love red and orange flowers.  A few of the suggested plants:

Acer, Amelanchier, Celtis, Cercis, Cornus, Gledistia, Liriodendron, Malus, Populus, Prunus, Salix, Tilia, Ulmus

 Buddleia, Caryopteris, Rhus, Rosa, Salix, Spiraea

Perennials and Vines
Asclepias, Aster, Achillea, Baptisia, Campsis, Chelone, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Lavendula, Liatris, Lupinus, Monarda, Nepeta, Oenothera, Penstemon, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, Solidago
. Edibles
Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Rubus, Vaccinium
For additional information:
By Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing, Loma Vista Nursery

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