Flowering and native plants are normally purchased for their charm and the allure they bring to a garden. But what most people don’t realize, when purchasing, is their real hidden gem--being pollinator friendly!

Yes, the newly blossomed flower heads will make your front porch patio look exquisite, but they will also offer a source of nectar and pollen for our natural working friends. It’s a dual purpose worth mentioning! 

And, for one week out of each year, Nature Hills gets to boast endlessly about our pollinator friendly plants!

Happy National Pollinator Week

This week is an annual event that is celebrated across the nation to support and raise awareness about the health of our pollinators. This year mark your calendars from June 21st to the 27th as gardeners, plant nurseries and more take time this week to celebrate and spread word on what we can do to protect them. And we want you to join in on the fun!

National pollinator week was created 14 years ago when the U.S. Senate designated a whole week in June each year as a step towards acknowledging the issue of declining numbers in our pollinator populations. Since then, several events, efforts and proclamations have been conducted in support!

Each year, you will find garden tours, bee and butterfly ID workshops, treasure hunts, buildings lit up with yellow and the list goes on and on. 

But the best activity in support of this week is planting in your very own garden. Here, the pollinator party truly never stops! And First Editions has some of the best plants that attract pollinators.

 

Top Pollinating Plants

Whether it be to bring a few Monarch butterflies that float softly amongst the flowers or to establish a home for a hummingbird and its friends, First Editions’ shrubs and trees are one of the top choices for all types of pollinator populations!

First Editions provides an excellently grown selection of trees and shrubs that are colorful, hardy, unique, diverse and above all, friendly to our pollen keepers. They are dependable when it comes to wanting to add in a tree with style or layer in a few shrubs with color. 

For instance, First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea and Strawberry Sundae® Hydrangea are staples of the brand and the ideal size for a live hedge *wink, wink. And their multi-colored, cone-shaped blooms are a butterfly’s weakness! 

Not only will you gain the perfect landscape oasis, but the birds, bees, and butterflies will also! Plus, you gain the added bonus of your front and back yard garden designs receiving fresh pollen for extended growth. 

The best part about First Editions’ trees and shrubs is that they can be grown in both the landscape and containers. So, your pollinator garden can even be placed on the porch or patio. 

With First Editions, you're well on your way to creating the garden of your dreams for both you and the native pollinators nearby. But, if you’re struggling to capture its potential in your mind, we have created a guide to styling a garden with First Editions below!

 

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How To Style Your Garden With First Editions

When styling a garden, it’s important to be mindful of the layers, textures and colors that will be combined into one area. Without a properly laid out view, you risk planting a 6 foot tree in front of your 4 foot bush!

Nature Hills is here to provide you with a kickstart to a garden design using First Editions’ pollinator friendly plants. 

First, to set the background borders, plant two to three Plum Magic Crapemyrtles next to each other, depending on the space you have. Their fuchsia pink blossoms will not go unnoticed in the back! With a height of 6 to 10 feet, this crapemyrtle is ideal for standing tall as the shorter plants gather in front. 

Since we do not want to clash colors with the already established pink, place a line of Sapphire Surf™ Bluebeards in front of the crapemyrtle. With only a height ranging from 2 to 3 feet, we have created layers and it will not be hogging the entire show

However, that does not keep the butterflies from hogging the rich blue flowers and fragrant silver-green leaves!

Rounding through the corner, line up a few Superstar™ Spireas in a row for an extra added lower level and soft pink blooms. It gets to be 2 to 3 feet tall, which will round out with the bluebeards well. 

To finish out the ensemble, take a mix of the Cotton Candy™ Phlox, Coral Crème Drop™ Phlox and Grape Lollipop™ Phlox as flowering plants that will grow lower to the ground. Another level of texture is added, as well as another source of nectar for our beneficial pollinators! 

Garden Example

Importance Of Our Pollinators

In honor of this nationally celebrated week, we want to cover just how important our pollinator friends are and who is classified as one!

Did you know that bees and other pollinators supply us with 1 out of every 3 bites of food we take? “What, how?” you may ask. They collect the pollen on their bodies in order to transfer it to the critical reproductive systems of most flowering plants. 

Those very plants are usually being grown for fruit, vegetables, oils, fibers and more! In fact, at least 75% of all flowering plants need help with pollination. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to grow. 

Pollinators are also key elements to a healthy ecosystem with clean air, stabilized soils and supported wildlife as a whole. 

 

Who Are Pollinators? 

When it comes to identifying a pollinator, we suggest following the 3 B’s-- bees, birds and butterflies! If you spot them upon your flower bush or tree, leave them be. It’s always good luck when a pollinator visits!

Bees

If we had to crown a champion, Bees would easily take the gold. We immediately refer to the fuzzy yellow and black (or is it black and yellow) striped bumblebees, that carry a serious buzz with them while migrating from flower to flower, as the iconic bee. 

But there are actually over 4,000 species of bees! From metallic-green sweat bees to honey bees, they all pitch in to pollination. 

To attract bees, choose plants that are: full of nectar, sweetly fragranced, carrying landing platforms, and are brightly colored! (Vere away from red however, as they cannot see it)

Birds

Many individuals forget that birds also help with carrying nectar from flower to flower. In the United States, hummingbirds are the most important wildflower pollinator! However, there are over 2,000 bird species that bring aid to nectar bearing flowers. 

Birds most commonly visit plants that are: tubular with petals that are curved, odorless since they cannot smell and are brightly colored with reds, yellows and oranges. 

Butterflies

Butterflies are extremely active during the day as they collect pollen on their legs and some on their design-filled wings while searching for the nectar inside the bloom. Although they are not as efficient as bees, butterflies still supply a great source of pollination to a variety of wildflowers. 

When butterflies visit flowers, they appreciate them to be: in clusters with landing platforms to rest upon, brightly colored and open during the day time!

Others to keep an eye out for:

  • Wasps, Moths and Flies
  • Bats
  • Beetles and Ants
  • Other small mammals

With the help of National Pollinator Week, our key pollinators and you, we can make a real difference in protecting them!

Happy gardening!