Pollinator Garden For Small Gardens
Pollinator Garden For Small Gardens
One of the most important things to do when trying to create a pollinator-friendly garden is to make sure that you are planting plants that are native to your area. Native plants and pollinators are always in sync with one another, so some native plants will blossom at the same time as bees emerge in early spring or perhaps others will bloom when hummingbirds return from migration. Basically, the native plants will bloom and go dormant in accordance with the cycle of the pollinators. Keep in mind that if you are going for a pollinator-friendly garden that includes butterflies, and butterflies start out as caterpillars... Caterpillars can only eat the leaves of a small number of native plants that they evolved with, these plants are called host plants and the caterpillar cannot survive without these host plants. Because having half-eaten leaves will not be an attractive sight you might want to consider putting these host plants in an area that is not directly in eyesight if your garden allows for this.
You can find many native plants from shrubs to perennial wildflowers that will do well in containers or small gardens.
While you must be sure to have a number of native plants in your garden, you do not have to solely rely on them. You can also add garden flowers that you are sure will thrive in small gardens or in containers. Make sure that these flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen for example sunflowers, zinnias and salvias. Adding culinary herbs will also be a good idea, for example, parsley and dill. Another excellent source of nectar is basil, rosemary, oregano and lavender.
If your garden is substantially small then to make the best out of your small space you will have to use the ground and containers. if you have no ground space you will have to make use of the containers completely.
The benefits of using containers are that you can then place your plants wherever you choose... On your rooftop, patio, front stoep or deck. When using containers be sure to get the largest ones that you can, this will allow your plant's roots to grow big and healthy. You should also keep in mind that containers will dry far quicker than in a garden bed so you should choose plants that are compact and will do well in dry soil also make sure that you water them regularly, but also that there are draining holes at the bottom of your containers so that excess water can run out.
Of course one of the most important elements in any garden is that it will need water, this is no different for a pollinator-friendly garden... However, with a garden designed for the purpose of attracting pollinators, you must be sure that you don't just give your plants water you need to have water sources for your pollinators too. For butterflies it is a good idea to create small puddling areas, they love to drink muddy water as it is full of minerals. You can fill a small birdbath with a mix of sand and compost be sure to keep it very wet and your butterflies will be very happy. For bees and other insects, you can again use a birdbath but this time place rocks inside it and fill it halfway with water. The rocks will act as a landing pad for the bees and other insects. And then of course for the birds, just an average birdbath with water will do the trick.
Lastly, another very important thing to do is to choose plants, flowers and herbs that will bloom throughout different times of the year and make sure that they are a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. The more diverse your garden is the more pollinators you will attract.