How to Create a Pollinator Garden For Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees, and More !
program by Pat Sutton
Pat Sutton, a working naturalist and wildlife habitat / conservation gardening educator and champion for over 30 years, will cover the basic “how to’s” for creating a pollinator-friendly garden and yard that will attract and benefit butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bees and more! The transformation can be quite simple: plant NATIVES instead of frou frou non-natives that might as well be plastic as far as wildlife is concerned. Plant Sweet Pepperbush instead of Crape Myrtle or plant Joe-pye-weed, Purple Coneflower, New England Aster, and Goldenrods rather than Impatiens and Hostas. Add a Milkweed patch and be amazed by all the creatures dependent on it, including Monarchs. Meet all the needs of hummingbirds and be dazzled by them in your gardens from late April through early October. The obvious, such as good nectar plants and their blooming periods, will be covered, along with the not so obvious, such as the caterpillar food plants butterflies and moths need for egg laying, “mud puddling,” and the importance of proper cover from wind and weather. The mystery of a butterfly’s life cycle and where and how butterflies and moths spend the winter will be explained. Where hummingbirds go in winter, why they leave us when our gardens are still in bloom, when to have your yard ready for them in spring upon their return, hummingbird feeder maintenance, and lots of other fun natural history facts will be shared. The program features eye-candy wildlife gardens in South Jersey that have successfully transformed ho-hum backyards into multi-dimensional gardens full of life.
Before this program, download, print, and read my many handouts on native plants for specific sites (pollinator gardens, shady areas, etc). My “Gardening for Pollinators” handout is KEY; it is my most in depth handout and applies to all native plant gardening. My list of “New Jersey’s Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines That are Most Beneficial to Birds” is annotated with the number of NJ bird species that feed on fruits, seeds, cones, or catkins of each. My “List of Some Sources of Native Plants in NJ, DE, eastern MD, and eastern PA” directs readers to safe sources of native plants grown by knowledgeable nursery owners wise to the hazards of neonics! Click HERE to see these native plant resources / handouts and others.