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In 2015 the ‘Million Pollinator Garden Challenge’ was launched by the National Wildlife Federation to create awareness for the great decline of pollinator populations. By 2018 over 1,000,000 gardens across North America were formally registered. From community public gardens to many home gardeners many plantings are prioritizing the importance of biodiversity to offer pollinators abundant food sources. The good news is that as of 2019 the eastern(not yet western) monarch butterfly population is better than it has been in 10 years. This year the challenge is for every gardener to plant something for each stage of the growing season (spring, summer and fall) to provide continual nutrients for these little friends.

A  concern that many of us have after the experience of summer 2018 is how compatible our planting was to what the heat and drought threw at us. Maybe this season challenges us to grow a little more eco friendly. Think of plants that will fit more specifically to your little plot requiring less fuss and therefore creating more enjoyment for you. How many of us loved those succulents last year! If there’s a lot of heat and not much moisture coming our way there are a plethora of succulents to blend into our garden containers and rocky landscape. If you have a wet patch annual grasses or bog plants might be your perfect match.

So if your decision is to stock up on some native plants, that will be the calling card for many beneficial insects and pollinators in the area. Ornamental grasses, daisy type flowers and sunflowers are a few plants that will encourage birds to visit. Not only are they fun to watch but the birds will snack on unwanted insects and caterpillars.

Remember planting layers in the garden provides shelter from the sun and protection from predators. Either make sure you have trees, small groupings of shrubs or organize the garden with tall, medium and shorter plant varieties to create secret hidey holes for a variey of garden friends.


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