Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening for Pollinators on Staten Island

Blooms for beauty and the local ecosystem

Common milkweed with a bee

Today’s photos are from Virginia Sherry, who is the founder of the Native Plant Society of Staten Island.

I am writing from Staten Island, New York, to share photos of my summer garden, which I have developed over the past 10 years to support pollinators. Many of the species are blooming; others will flower soon.

Anise hyssopAnise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum, Zones 4–8). This perennial is native to the Upper Midwest and Great Plains. The spikes of many small flowers are very attractive to pollinators and bloom over a very long season, particularly if kept deadheaded.

bright yellow flowersSundrops (Oenothera fruticosa, Zones 3–9) are native to much of eastern North America. Durable and easy to grow, they bloom over a long period in early summer.

Common milkweed with a beeCommon milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Zones 3–9) is native to much of eastern North America and is famous as a main host for monarch butterfly caterpillars, but the showy, fragrant clusters of flowers attract a wide range of pollinators, including this little honeybee.

Swamp milkweed before bloomingDespite being native to mostly wetlands in its native range over much of North America, swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Zones 3–6) thrives in regular garden soil. Unlike common milkweed, which spreads rapidly and can take over huge areas of a garden, this species stays more compact and may be a better choice for small gardens.

Stonecrop Autumn Joy before bloomNative to Eastern Europe and Asia, stonecrop (here, Hylotelephium ‘Autumn Joy’, Zones 3–9) is much loved by pollinators when grown in North American gardens too.

bright red and yellow flowerBlanket flower (Gaillardia, Zones 5–9) is a short-lived perennial that blooms its heart out. Native mostly to the western and northern parts of North America, is thrives in dry, well-drained sites.

plant with light purple flowersSoapwort (Saponaria officinalis, Zones 3–8) is a European species that was introduced to North America in colonial times and is common now along roadsides and other disturbed areas. The name “soapwort” comes from the traditional use of the sap from stems and roots to make soap.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/11/2022

    Love native plants.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 07/11/2022

    After seeing your post here-I'm on a mission to find some Purple milkweed, A. purpurascens! My next mission will be trying to find more room in my garden for one more plant!
    Loved seeing the pollinator plants in your garden- very inspiring and I learned something new!

  3. btucker9675 07/11/2022

    I have several of these, but am going to look for a few I don't have. Lovely post!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest