Creating a Pollinator Paradise

McDonald Garden Center welcomes National Pollinator Week as one of the most anticipated events of the year! We are celebrating this week-long event by dedicating it to the conservation and education of local pollinators in the Hampton Roads area and all around the world. 

For the month of June, we have discussed all types of pollinators in our blogs. Bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and beneficial bugs! In this blog, we will learn about how to help our fellow pollinator pals do their jobs and get our favorite fruits and veggies on the table. 


Creating a Pollinator Paradise

A great thing to do for your local pollinator population is to start with a pollinator garden. Choosing plants that can host pollinators, as well as feed them, is extremely helpful to their way of life. For more information on pollinator plants, check out “Host Plants vs. Nectar Plants” on our butterfly blog here

When starting a pollinator garden it’s important to know what type of pollinators you want to attract. Researching the region you’re in can help with choosing plants and know what pollinators are in your area. Knowing which plants pollinators are attracted to, what they need to feed on, and how they need to live will all determine what type of plants and accents will go in your garden. Prioritizing a variety of pollinator plants is very important to any pollinator garden, however, pollinators need more than the plants they feed on to survive. Setting up places where they can take a rest, grab a drink, and warm up away from the elements is also essential to a successful pollinator garden. 


Here are some tips on helpful pollinator garden additions: 

  • Trees and shrubs that block wind can help protect you pollinator plants from suffering in the elements, making them a perfect place to land for a snack.


  • Place flat stones or statuary about your garden in sunny spots for pollinators to warm up their wings.


  • Pollinators need water too! Create a DIY pollinator water fountain or drop some stones in your favorite bird bath so they have a spot to land on.


Check out Mike, the Garden Guru's video on How to Attract Bees and Butterflies to your garden!

Pollinator Accessories

No pollinator paradise is complete without accessories! Pollinators may need us to provide a place to stay or a bite to eat as their natural habitats can be compromised. Hanging a feeder, a home, or a water station can make a huge difference in a pollinator's life. 


Try the following accents in your garden to help a local pollinator:

  • Houses: Bird, bee, butterfly, bat, and ladybug houses are available to house the pollinators, and sometimes their young, to hibernate through the cold winter months. Insects like mason bees will use these houses over and over for their babies. For more information on bee environments, check out our blog on bees here


  • Feeders: Nectar and seed feeders are a great way to watch wildlife interact with your garden from your back door as well as feed pollinators that may be struggling to find plants. Put out as many feeders as you want, as more feeders will result in more pollinators. Hummingbird feeders are a great way to start attracting hummingbirds to visit your garden and pollinate the plants, as well as eat from the feeder. Hummingbird feeders filled with nectar will not only attract hummingbirds to your yard, but also ensure they’re getting all the food they need so they can keep pollinating. For more information on hummingbirds, visit our blog here


The Perfect Pollinator Container

If you don’t have the space to have a huge pollinator garden, don’t worry! Make a mini version of your pollinator garden in a container for your porch or patio! The process is simple and you just need to find your favorite pollinator plants to start. Plants that require the same light and watering needs work best together. And keep in mind that many pollinator favorites are full sun plants. If you need help building your perfect pollinator container, stop in and ask one of our Green Team experts what a good combination would be for your container garden. For more information on how to plant a container garden, check out our blog here. To finish off your container garden, add some accessories, like a feeder or a house, to the container with a shepherds hook or a stake to complete the look. Add your own touch and personality to your container with flags, globes, or other accessories. Gardening is an experience meant to be enjoyed! 


Bee the Change

Set your newfound pollinator knowledge out into the world and share your pollinator pals with us! We love to see gardeners grow. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram today @mcdonaldgardencenter and use the hashtag #mgc 

Make sure to check out our online seminars with the Garden Guru, Mike Westphal, for information on pollinators, and gardening tips and tricks. Talk to those around you about how you are making a difference for pollinators in your area and encourage them to do the same. After all, one out of every three bites of food we eat is only there because of pollinators. It’s up to you to be the change!


For more information and an inside look into Pollinator Week, check out our Pollinator Week Handbook here.