A pollinator garden is designed and planted, with certain nectar-producing and pollinating plants, in such a manner that attracts specific pollinating birds called pollinators. Birds and other insect species can become attracted to a garden when there are a variety of different plant species represented. The most popular garden designs incorporate a combination of flowers, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, and even trees.
There are several different categories of pollinator plants. A few of the most common include flowers, annuals, perennials, and seed plants. Flowers, such as marigolds and sunflowers, attract bees and butterflies. Some gardeners prefer to use annuals, while others may prefer to plant perennials. The preferred type of plant depends upon the location of the garden and the desired species of pollinators being an attractant.
The benefits of planting various plant types in a garden cannot be overstated. Different plant types will provide different pollination needs and will tend to thrive in different areas. For example, flowers will generally flower more during certain times of the year than at other times. The same is true of shrubs and ground cover plants. In fact, some gardeners will use a mixture of plant types in order to ensure they are able to achieve a certain type of bloom in whatever part of the year they desire.
The need for a viable pollinator garden has increased in recent years. The major contributor to this is the development and proliferation of many different species of bees. As honey bees have become a more dominant species in many parts of the world, gardeners must learn how to create and maintain a beneficial, well-rounded bee habitat in their gardens. Other insects that gardeners may want to consider adding to their pollinator garden include ladybirds, lacewings, and predatory butterflies.
Creating a garden that is full of beneficial insects is not as simple as placing a few types of flowers in a field. For one thing, many of these animals are attracted to certain plant types. This means that while an area may have a lot of berries, an area closer to a vegetable garden would likely have a greater concentration of basil. While a garden may consist of solely a variety of strawberries, its nearby neighbor may only have blueberries. The gardener has to experiment a bit in order to find the most successful combinations.
When creating a pollinator garden, the gardener should also pay close attention to the plant’s pollen. Many pollinators will actually “hunt” for plant food, such as nectar. Other gardeners prefer to attract a particular kind of insect by providing them with nectar. Whether it is a butterfly or a bird seeking a sweet flower or a cat or dog seeking a tidbit of catnip, the plant is sure to provide it.
In addition to the pollination process, the plant itself can be enhanced for pollination. For example, a fence can be placed to attract honey bees. These insects fly from plant to plant, especially when the flowers are in bloom. A fence can even provide the gardener with another type of beneficial insect, such as wasps or lacewings. There are several varieties of bamboo that make very good fencing for pollination.
And of course, nothing works better than planting plants that are already pollinated. A self-pollinated garden can provide the gardener with a continuous source of free insects. However, there are many other types of insects that could add to the overall pollination process. With a little research and patience, any gardener can come up with an excellent combination of pollinators and insects. And if all goes well, the end result will be a garden filled with healthy, beautiful flowers.