Sunday, June 19, 2011

Plantings for Pollinators

We've been very busy during the month of June, for which we thank all our loyal customers, new and returning. Add that to the fact that Robert is having a new house built, and there hasn't been a whole lot of time for blog writing, although he's keeping up his Facebook pages pretty well.

One of the things we like to specialize in here at Baldwin's is plants that attract pollinators, especially bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.
Buddleia, or butterfly bush, isn't hardy for everyone in Nova Scotia, but many people can get it to overwinter. It grows so quickly from a small plant that there are some who simply treat it as an annual, although we're hearing reports of many buddleias overwintering this past winter. Here's a nice 'Black Knight' blossom being adored by hummingbird moths.
One of the most important plants you can have if you want to attract Monarch butterflies is milkweed, Asclepias species. This isn't a Monarch on the flower of rosy milkweed but a Spangled Fritillary, which also quite enjoys the plant as a source of nectar.
Among the things that you need in establishing a butterfly garden is a sheltered spot where the butterflies can land, feed, lay eggs, and then, later on, create their chrysalis where they will turn from caterpillars into butterflies.
This post is a little shorter than we had intended because Blogger decided to be cranky about uploading photos, so we will probably edit and add more information when it regains its senses. But we'd like to put in a plug for Preston Lilacs as fantastic plants for butterflies and other pollinators. The Prestons were bred by Isabella Preston, the first woman to work as a horticulturist at a Canadian agriculture research station. These lilacs are later blooming than the French hybrids, and have smaller individual florets but a long bloom period and fantastic fragrance. Check out these and other great plants for pollinators at Baldwin's nursery, and perhaps get a free rosy milkweed plant to take home with you!