Today’s photos are from James Mahar.
We own 21.5 acres in Washington State dedicated to wildlife, including a 20,000-square-foot spot specifically for pollinators. Here are a few photos.
This area is packed with flowers that pollinators love. You don’t have to choose between a garden that is beautiful and one that is good for pollinators, because humans and bees both tend to like the same thing: lots of flowers!
Huge masses of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 4–9) back up this garden pond. Water features are not just beautiful but are also great for wildlife. Bees in particular will appreciate the low rocks at the edge, which allow them to safely access the water to drink.
This part of the garden is filled with flowers in shades of pink and purple, including lots of bee balm (Monarda species and hybrids, Zones 4–9). Newer selections of bee balm tend to be shorter and more compact, making them easier to use in many gardens, but they are still topped with abundant flowers for pollinators.
No pollinator garden is complete without a patch of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Zones 3–9), which is of course the critical host plant for monarch butterflies. Common milkweed can spread aggressively in small gardens, so planting it as it is here at the edge of a driveway or path can help keep it contained.
Tall conifers make a wonderful backdrop for the garden, turning it into a little enclosed paradise.
Planning for a long period of bloom helps keep a wide range of pollinators fed. Here the black-eyed Susan is in peak bloom; in front of it, a mass of sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn ‘Joy’, Zones 3–9) is covered with flower buds, ready to burst into bloom and keep the pollinator party going.
I wish I could sit in that chair and just soak up this beautiful garden!
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