Skip to content

Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – June 15, 2024

Table of Contents

Shannon’s Note

Happy (early) National Pollinator Week! June is National Pollinator Month and June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week. Over the last decade or two, the interest in pollinators (especially butterflies and bees) and attracting them to our yards has increased at an astonishing rate. This is something that makes me very happy because many of the things we do to attract and support pollinators, also benefits other insects and larger wildlife. For many people, creating a pollinator or butterfly garden is the first step towards eventually creating a thriving ecosystem in their yard that supports more than just butterflies and other pollinators.

One of the most impactful things you can do to attract and support pollinators (or any other type of wildlife) is to include lots of native plants in your landscape. When choosing which native species to include in your landscape, don’t overlook species that are important host plants, but might not have the prettiest flowers. Having a good variety and balance of host plants can greatly increase your pollinator diversity.

For example, over the last few days we’ve been watching a species of butterfly that we’ve never seen on the farm before frequently visit its host plant which is one of the new species we are growing this year. These plants are only a few inches tall and there aren’t a lot of them, which just goes to prove how important host plants are for attracting pollinators. (I plan to share the whole story in next week’s The Backyard Ecologist™’s Newsletter, which is our weekly email focused on helping you create a thriving ecosystem in your yard. You can subscribe for free.)

However, sometimes you can’t plant a bunch of native plants right now. It’s not that you don’t see the value of native plants, or want to eventually plant them, but right now you are having to prioritize other things. That’s ok. Many people have been there, including Anthony and I. That’s why one of Anthony’s most recent videos ranked the value of “lawn weeds” or “lawn flowers” to pollinators. Because recognizing the value of what you already have, can also be beneficial and might help you find an easy first step that you can take until you are able to focus more heavily on incorporating native plants into your landscape. I’ve included that video and a few others that I think you might find useful in the Backyard Ecology™ Resources section below.

I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start!

Thank you to everyone who purchased plants or stopped and talked to us at the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market and the Community Farmers Market recently!

Back to top

Native Plant Spotlight

What would you say to a plant that almost guaranteed that you would get dive bombed by hummingbirds anytime you got around it when it was in bloom? If you have a sunny to partly sunny location with medium to moist soil, then you might want to check out cardinal flower.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Height: 1 to 6 feet (usually 2 to 3 feet)

Blooms: July to September

Sun: Full sun to part shade (best)

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Provides food for:

  • Hummingbirds (flowers)
  • Native bees (flowers)
  • Butterflies (flowers)
  • Moths (flowers)
  • Caterpillars (foliage)
  • Songbirds (caterpillars and other insects)

Back to top

Pollinator Garden Starter Kits

Our pollinator garden starter kits are specifically curated to take the stress, overwhelm, and uncertainty out of starting your first pollinator garden. Each pollinator garden starter kit includes 18 plants representing 6 species that:

🌱 are native to Kentucky and Tennessee,

🌱 will grow well in medium moisture soil (what most people have in their yards),

🌱 tend not to grow much taller than about 3 feet,

🌱 are easy to grow and care for, and

🌱 will attract a wide range of pollinators and wildlife.

Once established, each pollinator garden starter kit will provide blooms from late April / early May through late September / early October.

Note: Some substitutions may be made based on species availability, but we will discuss any substitutions with you when you request a starter kit.

Back to top

Right Plant, Right Place Selection Guide

If you are more advanced than the pollinator garden starter kits but could still use some guidance when picking the right plants for you, then we’ve got you covered with the Right Plant, Right Place Selection Guide. We developed the Right Plant, Right Place Selection Guide to help you sort through the species we are growing and find the ones that will work best in your location.

Back to top

Upcoming Sales and Events

Native Plant Sales

Because we are entering the hottest part of the year, we will be switching to pre-ordered deliveries until mid-August. A list of everything that we will have available will be added to the event listing 1-2 weeks before the event. The event listing also includes information on how to place an order.

If you are interested in native plants and can’t make one of the pre-ordered delivery dates, feel free to contact us and ask if we can meet you on different date. If we can find a mutually convenient time and place to meet in Glasgow or Bowling Green, then we are happy to do so.

Just a few of the many species we currently have available.

Educational Events

We still have room for a few more activities or events this year. Please contact us if you have a community event coming up that you would like us to participate in or if you would like for us to consider being a guest vendor at your local farmer’s market.

Back to top

Workshop Waitlists

We are making plans for an invasive species workshop and another Native Plants 101 Workshop. Join the waitlists to be among the first to find out about the relevant workshop(s) and receive super early bird registration pricing.

Back to top

Backyard Ecology™ Resources

Did you know that Anthony and I produce a variety of free educational resources every week to help and encourage you as you grow native plants, create miniature ecosystems on your property, and attract pollinators and wildlife? Below are some of our free resources that you might enjoy.

Back to top

Subscribe to the Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting email list to have these newsletters emailed to you.

Back to top

Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting

Helping you create the pollinator and wildlife habitat of your dreams, so you can enjoy your land and care for the plants and animals that also call your property home.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.