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Pollinator Friendly Plants

By: Dr. Allan Armitage

Pollinator Friendly Plants

 If you are a gardener or landscaper, you have by now figured out that plants are essential to pollinators such as bees and butterflies and even more important, that plant pollinators are essential to a healthy ecosystem.  Without getting carried away and breaking into a chorus of "Kumbaya", I believe I can safely say that anyone with half a brain wants to bring more pollinators into the garden.  

 The reason we like talking about pollinators is that our gardens are part of a greater ecosystem. The natural order of any ecosystem is that plants need to flower and produce seed; one of the most important ways of pollination is through insects. To introduce pollinator friendly plants to the landscape is not difficult.

 Simply replacing some of the lawn and creating a small garden space makes the world a better place.  I love my lawn, but it is a sterile environment for everything but weed seeds, so I welcome my flowers, trees and shrubs, and they in turn welcome bees, butterflies and birds.

 That there are hundreds of plants that attract pollinators is nice but does not help if we don't know what they are. Some plants are simply magnets for pollinators and those are the ones we want to invite to our home. Fortunately, the plantspeople at The Perennial Farm have put together a list of recommended plants to attract pollinators. (link here)

 The app, Armitage’s Great Garden Plants is an excellent reference to pollinator plants. It is available on Apple & Android phones so you have the information you need in your back pocket. On it you will find best plants for pollinators, take a look.