Summer is in full swing and it’s prime time for pollinator-friendly blooms. Anyone with just a little outdoor space can encourage pollinators by planting perennials, shrubs or trees that feed birds and insects. Adding to your garden doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be messy (a common fear of perennials)- in fact, it’s better if your new plant project is simple and planned. Here are a few easy suggestions to bring some wildlife to your home with a minimum of fuss. (Find more tips and resources in this article.)
Simple tips for creating your pollinator patch
- Pick a few plants that you truly like. I can’t emphasize this enough! There are so many plants to choose from that you will certainly find something you love at your nursery. You can start with just 1-3 varieties if you’re new to gardening, especially with perennials. If you’re unsure, ask the staff at your nursery and they will gladly help you with your selection. (When I’m shopping local retail, I go to Merrifield. The staff are so knowledgable and they’re always very happy to talk about their plants.)
- Buy 3 or more of each kind of perennial. The idea is to create a grouping of plants because it will look neater than single plants. A mass of color is also easier for insects to find.
- Plant your new specimens in an existing bed, a container, or a new plant bed if you’re expanding your garden. Again, greater numbers of just a few varieties will give you a neater look. If you have enough plants, you could repeat groupings around your garden beds for repetition, another effective design principle.
- And now, water and enjoy!
The biggest takeaway to starting a pollinator garden- keep it simple and remember to enjoy all your new visitors!