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Planting a Pollinator Garden

Planting a Pollinator Garden introduces children to the their place in the environment. By using native plants in a garden kids learn how their efforts help the birds and bugs that depend on plants for their survival. Pollinators, the critters who travel from plant to plant with pollen on their bellies, are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world’s flowering plants to reproduce. Without them, humans and wildlife wouldn’t have much to eat.

Joining us for the interview are co-author of Essential Native Trees & Shrubs, Ginger Woolridge and Meenal Harankhedkar, Director of Horticulture at Historic London Town and Gardens.

Using Native Plants for Pollinators

Native plants are much easier to care for than hybrids and certainly can provide your yard with plenty of color. Plants with a single layer of flower are better for pollinators because simple flowers make it easier for birds and bugs to get at the nectar in the plant. In general, the simpler the name of the plant, the simpler the variety and the better it is for pollinators. And kids have a better understanding of how things in nature work when they can watch the lifecycle of a bug on their garden plants.

Gardening Tips for Using Native Plants

  • Don’t kill the insects in your yard. It takes 10,000 caterpillars to feed one clutch of baby chickadees.
  • When planning your yard, think in layers. Trees, then shrubs, then flowers.
  • Think of the four seasons when selecting your plants and how each plant will look beside its neighbor throughout the year, not just in the spring when everything is flowering.

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