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Bees and Butterflies

by | Jul 13, 2015 | Uncategorized

According to Anne Schellman of the California Center for Urban Horticulture, “Insect and wildlife habitat are growing scarce in the typical backyard. Making your garden into a living landscape is an important way to create places of refuge for wildlife while adding biological diversity to your city.”

Knowing this, there are five important techniques backyard gardeners can use to create a butterfly- and bee-friendly habitat in their own backyard:

  • Pollen rich flowers – Planting a pollinator-friendly garden is the most important step to take. Make certain that you choose nectar- and pollen-rich plants. Blooming annuals, perennials, and shrubs are best so nectar and pollen will be available throughout the growing season.
  • Only organic – There is no need to use powerful poisons to protect your garden from insects and diseases, as they are prone to kill beneficial organisms. The organic approach is safer and more effective in providing protection to your garden plants.
  • Shelter – Your friendly butterflies and bees will need shelter to hide from predators, stay out of the elements, and protect their young. You can help them defend their households by providing hiding places that are natural to their environment, such as an overgrown hedgerow, pile of grass cuttings, or a dead tree.
  • Water – Bees, birds, and butterflies will need water to flourish. Consider installing a water garden, birdbath, or catch basin for rain. Most butterflies are attracted to mud puddles and will flock to them for salt and water.
  • The basics – You only need a little space, water, and plenty of nearby flowers for bees and butterflies to visit to create the ultimate environment. Plants that can help the backyard gardener create a bee and a butterfly rich environment are:

Bees

  • Allium
  • Aster
  • Basil
  • Bee balm
  • Bee plant
  • Bergamot
  • Blanket flower
  • Borage
  • Cosmos
  • Flax
  • Four o’clock
  • Gaillardia
  • Geranium
  • Giant hyssop
  • Globe thistle
  • Goldenrod
  • Helianthus
  • Hyssop
  • Joe-Pye weed
  • Lavender
  • Lupine
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mullein
  • Paintbrush
  • Poppy
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Skullcap
  • Sunflower
  • Thyme
  • Verbena
  • Wallflower
  • Wild rose
  • Zinnia

Butterflies

  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Bee balm
  • Butterfly bush
  • Calendula
  • Cosmos
  • Daylily
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Fennel
  • Globe thistle
  • Goldenrod
  • Hollyhock
  • Lavender
  • Liatris
  • Marigold
  • Musk mallow
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Phlox
  • Purple coneflower
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Sage
  • Scabiosa
  • Shasta daisy
  • Stonecrop
  • Verbena
  • Yarrow
By providing nectar and pollen as nourishment and creating safe shelters in your garden space, you can create an awesome habitat for bees and butterflies, which is as important as their natural habitats become less and less abundant.

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