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Seasonal Garden Tip:

Submitted by FSGC club member Ruth E. Duckless

Garden Tip
Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators

It’s the time of year to start planning our gardens and seed/plant purchases or trades. It is more important than ever to consider our pollinators as part of the garden variety. Some things to remember are:

1. Plant nectar- and pollen-rich flowers
The most important step you can take is to plant a pollinator-friendly garden. Choose nectar and pollen-rich plants like wildflowers and old-fashioned varieties of flowers. A succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs is best so nectar and pollen will be available throughout the growing season. Also, include plants like dill, fennel and milkweed that butterfly larvae feed on.
2. Go organic
Many pesticides — even organic ones — are toxic to bees and other beneficial organisms. There's no need to use powerful poisons to protect your garden from insects and diseases. In the short term they may provide a quick knock-down to the attackers, but they also kill beneficial organisms. In the long term, you expose yourself, family, pets and wildlife to toxic chemicals, and risk disrupting the natural ecosystem that you and your garden inhabit.
3. Provide shelter
Butterflies, bees and other pollinators need shelter to hide from predators, get out of the elements and rear their young. Let a hedgerow or part of your lawn grow wild for ground-nesting bees. Let a pile of grass cuttings or a log decompose in a sunny place on the ground. Or, allow a dead tree to stand to create nooks for butterflies and solitary bees. Artificial nesting boxes can also help increase the population of pollinators in your area. Wooden blocks with the proper-sized holes drilled into them will attract mason bees. Bat boxes provide a place for bats to raise their young.
4. Provide food and water
A pollinator garden will provide pollen and nectar. Consider adding special feeders to help attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Bees, birds and butterflies also all need water. Install a water garden, a birdbath or a catch basin for rain. Butterflies are attracted to muddy puddles which they will flock to for salts and nutrients as well as water.

Plants to include can be the following:
Plants that attract butterflies
Alyssum, Aster, Bee balm, Butterfly bush, Calendula, Cosmos, Daylily, Delphinium, Dianthus, Fennel, Globe thistle, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Lavender, Liatris, Marigold, Musk mallow, Nasturtium, Phlox, Purple coneflower, Queen Anne's lace, Sage, Scabiosa, Shasta daisy, Stonecrop, Verbena, Yarrow, Zinnia
Plants that attract butterfly larvae (caterpillars)
Borage, Fennel, Grasses, Hollyhocks, Lupine, Milkweed, Nettle, Thistle, Willow
Plants that attract hummingbirds
Ajuga, Bee balm, Begonia, Bleeding heart, Butterfly weed, Canna, Cardinal flower, Century plant, Columbine, Coral bells (heuchera), Cleome, Crapemyrtle, Dahlia, Dame's rocket, Delphinium, Fire pink, Four o' clocks, Foxglove, Fuchsia, Gilia, Geranium, Gladiolus, Glossy abelia, Hollyhocks, Impatiens, Iris, Lantana, Liatris, Lily, Lupine, Nasturtium, Nicotiana, Paintbrush, Penstemon, Petunia, Phlox, Sage, Salvia, Scabiosa, Scarlet sage, Sweet William, Verbena, Yucca, Zinnia
Plants that attract bees
Perennials and Annuals
Allium, Aster, Basil, Bee balm, 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, Paint brush, Poppy, Rosemary, Sage, Skullcap, Sunflower, Thyme, Verbena, Wallflower, Wild rose, Zinnia
Trees, Shrubs and Fruit
Apple, Blackcurrant, Cherry, Gooseberry, Hawthorn, Pear, Plum, Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild lilac, Willow

Here are some links to local and global gardening resources:

Featured Resource:

“Vermont Center for Ecostudies: Uniting People and Science for Conservation”

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies has a comprehensive website describing and monitoring plants, animals, and ecosystems in Vermont and elsewhere. The center’s many projects utilize crowd-sourcing and citizen scientists to gather and submit data.
One of the center’s projects is the VERMONT ATLAS OF LIFE, VCE’s ambitious project to list and map every living thing in the state.
As you explore the site, check out the map of vernal pools in Vermont. Is there an identified vernal pool in your town? Is it accessible?

National Garden Clubs
Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont
New England Region
Old Stone House
Wooden Horse Arts Guild
Mac Center for the Arts
Charlie Nardozzi’s gardening site
Master Gardener Program
Vermont Invasive Plants

National Audubon Society
VT Land Trust
American Public Gardens Assoc.
Vermont Nature Conservancy
VT Agency of Natural Resources
VT Chapter of the Am. Chestnut Foundation
Vermont Local Food System
The Garden Central
Vermont Center for Ecostudies