Feeding, Breeding  and Sheltering Pollinators

I used these bright wall sculptures and signs to decorate

                       

 

If you'd like to design your own butterfly and pollinator garden, you can download 
these garden design plans free in  .pdf format.  Just click the pics.

 

My Plants for Bees and all Pollinators - USDA Hardiness Zone 5

Bee Balm (monarda)
 -Visited by all types of bees and other flying pollinators. And covered in beautiful flowers on sturdy stems.
Easily propagated by pulling a stem out with roots, and planting it anywhere.

Shasta Daisies - Many varieties

Cone Flowers (Echinacea)
The dried, globe-shaped seed heads 
provide food for the birds



Asiatic, Oriental, Siberian and Border Lilies

Giant Hibiscus attracts many pollinators at once, due to their size. 
Blooms are approximately 10-12 inches in diameter. 
Multiple buds and a long bloom period. 

Sweet Pea Vines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Hydrangeas - Several types of pollinators love to visit all day.

Red Giant Hibiscus

 

 

Butterfly Weed - Magnets for bees and butterflies

Ruby Clethra "Summersweet" 
- A very sweet fragrance and long blooming period


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Weed

Rose of Sharon - Blooms july-oct.

 

 
 
       

Foods: just about any overly ripe fruit and sugar water. 
And they don't mind some smelly organic matter, either.

I freeze bananas for smoothies, but over-ripe bananas can also be frozen with or without the skin, then left out to defrost. Use the potato masher, and what you get is very mushy pulp and this is great for the butterfly feeder. 
 
Another way to easily store food for the butterflies is to use different types of overly ripe fruits and toss them into a blender. Set the blender on a coarse chop or a setting that doesn't liquify it. Or pop it into a food processor and just give it a pulse or two. pour into freezer containers or bags, and you'll have a good supply to keep your feeder full.
 
You can set up 2 separate areas - one for birds and one for butterflies. The bird area can contain feeding stations lots of berries and grains and nuts as well. The feeders for the birds can be placed higher up but out of the reach of squirrels. if there is such a place i haven't found it yet. Nor have i found a place that bees won't find....
 
A pretty butterfly feeder that serves also as a landscape element can be easily constructed using one of those Gazing Globe stands and purchasing an inexpensive shallow bowl to place onto it. they come in different sizes and styles and are not very tall, so butterflies are likely to notice it, and it probably won't attract ants. any planter stand without the planter can be outfitted with a terra cotta bowl or deep dish glass pie dish. It can be relatively inexpensive. Also inexpensive are those pillar-type fake-stone resin decorative columns that you'd place a planter on top of. Purchase different heights and shapes, outfit them with inexpensive but pretty bowls and you have a feeding station. Squirrels will probably leave them alone, as there's not a good foothold on the columns. They can drop out of the trees, though, so place it where it's inconvenient for them.
A note about bowls - Dollar and discount stores carry the outdoor picnic plastic colorful bowls, and large platters with an inch or two of lip and not very deep. the colors of the bowls attract the butterflies, they're cheap, and if you find the party platters with sections, you can arrange an assortment of fruits for a Butterfly Buffet.
 
Remember to clean out your feeders frequently, and occasionally use a disinfectant non-toxic spray cleaner or diluted bleach.
 

 

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