In celebration of Pollinator Week, we’re taking a moment to appreciate the natural workings of insects that brighten and improve our planet! It is imperative to raise awareness and to protect them! Join us in supporting the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign by donating here.
The Essentials of Pollinators
There are over 200,000 known pollinators, each in various shapes and sizes. In Maryland alone, there are over 400 bee species and 150 butterfly species. Other pollinators include ants, bats, beetles, flies, moths, hummingbirds, and even wasps. Since pollinators are in decline, it is important to keep our gardens open to these creatures and support their efforts to keep this world vibrant and healthy.
How can we help?
It is important to note that planting native flowers helps the State of Maryland flourish lavishly with flowers that promote the health of our ecosystems. By planting native plants that offer pollen and nectar, it allows solitary bees to feed and support Maryland’s biodiversity. According to the University of Maryland Extension, “Many bees provision their nests with pollen from native plants, and butterflies and moths eat native species at the larval stage. Birds, in turn, feed an abundance of these caterpillars to their young. Going native supports this whole food web.” Let us come together to support the growth of our ecosystems and assist pollinators in keeping Maryland beautiful!
Which native flowers are beneficial for my garden and the pollinators?
Excellent question! There are many beautiful native plants that can compliment your garden. Native plants will allow your garden to flourish with never ending pollinators being the life of the party! Here are four suggested flowers to liven your garden:
Raydon’s Favorite Aster
This perennial aster is not only a favorite with the pollinators, but with gardeners alike! The flowers are naturally vibrant with a similar appearance to a daisy. Its cone center provides an excellent source of nectar which attract butterflies and bees. This flower can withstand dry conditions and clay soils, so within the face of adversity this flower can outshine and outgrow harsh conditions.
This native flower is a compact wildflower that can add a pop of color to any garden. Although these flowers are small, they continuously bloom staying true to their name, firepink. The vibrant plant begins blooming in the spring and lasts throughout fall. The firepink is known to attract hummingbirds.
This perennial is also known as the Dwarf Crested Iris. This flower is perfect for shaded gardens and often thrives in rich, well drained soil. This plant will attract hummingbirds and bumblebees. On another note, if you have a deer problem it may interest you to know that this plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.
If you enjoy the presence of the endangered Monarch, then this flower is for you! This is the only plant that serves as the host for the Monarch to lay their eggs. This is a fantastic way to support the endangered species and add a beautiful cluster of colors to your garden.
The Pollinator Partnership are hosting events including garden tours, bee and butterfly workshops, and more to better educate and inform. To learn more about Pollinator Week and to support your local pollinators, check out The Pollinator Partnership.
Lauren’s Garden Service. “Lauren’s Garden Service: Landscape Design, Installation & Maintenance.” Landscape Design, Installation, Maintenance and Native Plant Nursery | Lauren’s Garden Service, 10 June 2017, https://www.laurensgardenservice.com/.
“Pollinators and Native Plants.” University of Maryland Extension, https://extension.umd.edu/locations/howard-county/environment-and-natural-resources/master-gardener/pollinators-and-native-plants.