INVITE POLLINATORS INTO THE GARDEN
It’s Pollinator Week! An annual event in celebration of pollinator health.
Pollinators play a pivotal role in our gardens and are crucial to sustaining healthy ecosystems across the planet. First, let’s define the term. Pollinators are any animal species that move pollen from the male reproductive organs of a flower to the female organs, enabling fertilization and seed production. In Oregon, pollinators include bees, beetles, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, wasps, and even flies.
Continue reading to learn how we can invite some of our favorite beneficial insects and birds into our gardens by creating pollinator-friendly habitats.
There are approximately 500 species of bees living in the state of Oregon. Bring them into your garden with bright white, yellow, and blue flowers. Single flowers with just one ring of petals create the perfect landing pad for bees. They also tend to have more pollen and nectar readily accessible for pollinators. Consider planting perennials like salvia, hyssop, bee balm, beard tongue, catnip, and lavender.
Providing shelter like bee boxes will encourage solitary, non-aggressive bees to nest on your property. Farmington Gardens sells bug hotels that will attract a wide array of beneficial insects, increasing biodiversity in your yard.
BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS
Did you know butterflies taste with their feet? They also prefer white, pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange flowers. Great flower choices include milkweed, tickseed, coneflowers, blazing star, and sunflowers.
While most pollinators are active during the day, moths will pollinate your garden in the evening. They are also an important food source for birds, bats, and toads. By encouraging them to visit your garden you are helping a larger, interconnected ecosystem to flourish. One way to draw moths into your space is by planting flowers that release their scent at night. Popular choices include Japanese wisteria, dianthus, night-scented phlox, moonflowers, star jasmine, and gardenia.
Oregon has seven hummingbird species, providing excellent opportunities for pollination and great backyard bird watching. Hummingbirds are attracted to red, tubular shaped flowers. Using a hummingbird feeder can be a great way to provide for these little birds, especially during the winter months when there are limited food supplies. Flowers that attract hummingbirds include salvia, hyssop, bee balm, columbine, fuchsia, honeysuckle vine, and sunflowers.