With all of the butterflies and bees working in our gardens, many of us forget to include plants that fuel these pollinators, which are crucial to pollinating our food and beautifying gardens. Some familiar pollinators include butterflies, bees, small mammals and hummingbirds, among many others. Due to chemical pollution, pesticides and loss of habitat, pollinator-friendly gardens have become more crucial for their survival.
In Minnesota, the state’s board of water and soil resources strives to revive the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee by planting pollinator-friendly gardens. In fact, this is such a big buzz that the board will reimburse homeowners for planting bee-friendly plants, including swamp milkweed, spotted Joe Pye weed, prairie blazing star, fringed loosestrife, New England aster, blue lobelia, blue flag iris and more. (It is important to add grass species for additional habitats and lower maintenance gardens.) Who knows, you may even inspire other gardeners in your community.