Plant Native Plants and Make Bees Happy

April 2, 2016

April is National Garden Month. Gardening is a beloved American pastime with a regional flair depending upon one’s climate. Temperature ranges, sunlight levels and precipitation amounts all influence what types of plants are best suited for particular areas of the country. Regardless of where one lives, gardens offer people the ability to express themselves through nature, similar to how artists, musicians and other creators express themselves through their respective medium.

Gardens also offer many tangible benefits: healthy food to eat, beautiful environments to enjoy, recreational areas in which to play and relax, and habitats for wildlife to live. And from an environmental perspective, gardens also help the Big Five Pollinators: bees, butterflies, birds, bats and beetles by providing them with critical food and shelter.

This spring, take a virtual tour of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s People’s Garden website. Learn how to help your local pollinators by establishing a native microhabitat that is customized for your neighborhood pollinators. The website’s new online tool, Plant a Window Box for Pollinators, is a fun and easy way to choose the best native plants to grown in your ecoregion. These plants will provide important pollinator forage and protection based on your zip code. You can print out the recommended list of plants and take it to your garden store or nursery for ease of shopping.

Enriching your garden with native plants means you are landscaping with flowers, shrubs and trees that are naturally suited to the environment in which you live. Native plants require less water and aren’t dependent on pesticides in order to thrive. They make infinitely better habitats for pollinators and other wildlife.

Plant native and make a bee happy!