If you do just one thing this spring, plant a pollinator garden. Aside from the joy to the senses that comes from a garden bustling with colour and life - the happy buzz of bees and fluttering butterflies - the wellbeing of the planet and ultimately humanity itself will depend on our efforts to accommodate the needs of our smallest super-heroes.
Pollinators play a vital role in transferring pollen dust from one flower to another stimulating fruit and seed production. Without this process, fruit and vegetables suffer reduced yields. Pollinators are as important in the home garden as they are in our commercial orchards and market gardens.
Perennials for pollinators
Cool blues, purples and mauves:
Lavender ‘The Princess’ ‘Fairy Wings’ and ‘Romance’
Penstemon ‘Taffy’ and ‘Cha Cha’
Salvia ‘So Cool’
Rudbeckia ‘Little Goldstar’
Supporting pollinators over winter and early spring months:
Hellebore (winter rose)
Include a diversity of species flowering over a long period and don’t forget winter bloomers
Promote plenty of flowers by regular feeding, mulching and occasional deep watering as needed
Plant bee-friendly flowers close to your vege patch
Observe which plants in your garden the pollinators enjoy and plant more of these
Plant to create bold blocks of colour. A bee’s favourite colours are mauve, blue and yellow. Butterflies can see colours that bee’s can’t, including red.
Butterflies are attracted to flower scents, which can mimic the scent of pheromones.