Pollinators are crucial to the pollination of more than 150 food crops in the United States. Many of these being fruits, nuts and berries which wildlife depend on and humans enjoy eating.
Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, flies, wasps and bats. As gardeners, we can provide pollinator-friendly gardens that provide valuable habitat to insects and wildlife. Consider including native plants in gardens. Native plants once established need less water, don't need fertilized, require less maintenance and are better adapted to local growing conditions.
A well designed pollinator garden should include:
- A variety of flower shapes, sizes and bloom times
- If possible, use native plants
- Clumps of similar flowers
- Located garden in full sun
- Provide a nesting location such as bare ground or a hollow stump or log
- Provide shallow water sources
Pollinator plant and design ideas can be found by visiting one of our University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer demonstration gardens.
-Extension office, 700 S. Airport Drive, Springfield
-Demonstration gardens, along 8th street, in front of Building #30, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield
-Imagination Station Children Garden, Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield
-Prairie Wildflower Garden, Lincoln Memorial Garden, behind Ostermeier house, Springfield
While at the Children Garden at Henson Robinson Zoo, check out the pollinator faceboard or read a good book from the Treehouse Library.