So here are the June photos of my pollinator garden.
After days of rain, the sun and the humidity have returned in force.
We have gone from too much rain to too much heat. Now I have to actually think about watering my plants. I have to do that while I stay in constant motion so the mosquitoes don’t eat me for lunch.
The first tall plants were beat down by the wind and rains we had. Mostly purple Larkspur. They were really pretty and the Swallowtails liked them alot.
There are so many different flowers that I cannot name them here.
Just know I make sure that every plant or vine has some value to nature.
The tall sunflowers really fit the bill because they have both nectar and bugs. The nectar for the pollinators and the bugs for the birds. The cardinals and the wrens go crazy over them. Zinnias are just popping up and just about all the butterflies like them.
Fennel is back and the Black Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs there.
It’s a wonderful place to be if you are a pollinator or a bird. It’s pretty nice for me too.
Here is the May 20th update on my pollinator garden. Every year the garden is different depending on what comes back.
This year was really scary because of the freeze . I was not sure what might be completely dead.
But, and I love this part…90% of my garden was planted with native plants! They are sturdy!! I did have a few larger bushes that have not shown up and probably won’t.
But the garden is still a beauty. Everything is about five weeks behind its normal time to bloom. The vines are just now popping up, and some plants that like more sun and hot weather have not started to bloom just yet.
This is why planting things that are native to your area keeps the budget low. They come back!
As promised, I am taking photos of my pollinator garden every month or so.
The “Uri” storm or as I called it “The Arctic Beast” pretty much took a terrible toll on the garden. I was very upset about it. I understand that nature has its own way.
The garden, along with so many animals and plants could not stand 10 days of freezing weather. Many were lost to it.
I and many others put out tons of extra bird seed. I know it helped some of the birds. I tried to keep water for them also. You have to do what you can.
So for the last couple of weeks, I have been trimming and cutting back all the dead plants in the garden. I’m using lots of love and TLC to bring it back for all the bees, birds, and butterflies that come to it. It has been a slow process.
But the very reason we try to get people to plant native plants is that they are tough and hard to kill. I am seeing green leaves and little buds everywhere. It makes me happy to see it and know that nature is very resilient.
The monarchs are still coming through now. I hope I will have something blooming soon for them. As Master Naturalists, we never give up trying to save our beautiful planet filled with amazing animals and a green paradise of plants.
As my favorite saying goes…
…we were not born to do everything, but to do something.
I was asked to show the progress of my pollinator garden as the year goes on and to say a few things about what I do as it goes forward.
As you can imagine, I can only mention a few things, because gardening is an ongoing project every day. Each year the garden is different. Sometimes Mother Nature supplies plenty of water and wind born native plant seeds. But sometimes she decides to hold on to her precious water. You must be observant.
Just the water alone can determine what plants will be successful.
Right now the garden is asleep, as it should be. The leaves protect many things beside the plants. They are the blanket that keeps things warm. There are butterfly chrysalis that stay there until Spring tells them it’s time to wake up. So, removing the leaf litter too soon can steal from the garden the very animals you are hoping to see. Timing is everything!
Is there a rigid rule that I use to know when it’s time to clean up the garden?
NO!!! If I knew that I would be famous.
I usually start now to just tidy up a few things. Nothing major. We all know that the last freeze has not happened, and we don’t know when it will.
I had to pick up the mess the storm left just a week ago. Many limbs and bushes were broken. I cleaned all that up and removed it.
In January, as in all months, you want to keep the water sources for your birds clean. My bird feeders are not inside the garden, but just outside it. That keeps the seed debris, rats, and feral cats from living in the garden.
Soon as it warms up, I will begin to see what vines, bushes, and plants are reborn. Some gave their life for the garden last year, and I will have to reseed or replant them again. The real miracle of gardening is about to start again.
Is it a lot of physical work? Yes it is. But, to me nothing you love to do is really work. My goal as always is not just to have a retreat to renew myself, but to help the wild things that share the planet with us.
I always try to learn what they need, and that’s what I put in the garden.