Monday, May 30, 2016

Flowers to Attract Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds - by Denise Devine

My Flower Garden
As you probably know, bee and butterfly populations are in serious decline. This is not good news! Did you know that in 1997 there were more than 1 billion Monarch butterflies, but now there are only about 57 million? The rapid decline is due to pesticides, loss of habitat, and milkweed, which is the main diet of caterpillars. 

Bees are dying in record numbers—putting our food supply seriously at risk—and it’s mostly due to toxic pesticides called “neonicotinoids.” These nasty chemicals are used in nursery plants and they’re systemic, which means that the poison goes up through the plant into the pollen and nectar and kills the bees. PLEASE, only buy plants that aren't chemically treated!

Make your yard an area where bees and butterflies can survive. Plant wildflowers native to your state, plant milkweed and don’t use chemicals!

Echinacea (Coneflowers)
Some bee-friendly flowers…
Spring Blooms - Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula and wild lilac
Summer - bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta
Fall - zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod

Some butterfly-friendly flowers…
Aster, bee balm, cornflower, daylily, hollyhock, lavender, lilac, milkweed, phlox, purple coneflower, snapdragon, zinnia

Ten top flowers for hummingbirds…
Bee balm, cardinal flower, zinnia, salvia, bleeding hearts, butterfly bush, trumpet flower, lupine, columbine, petunia

The picture to the left is a Cardinal Flower. The hummingbirds in my yard are all over this flower and it grows really tall. It's beautiful, too!

All of the pictures in this post are from my own backyard. If you want more information on how you can do your part to help save the bees and butterflies by creating a friendly habitat for them, here are a few very good resources:

American Meadows for wildflower seeds
The Xerces Society for bee and butterfly information
The Honeybee Conservancy for information on bees

These are giant Delphiniums