Building Your Pollinator Garden

By: Jenn Russo, Outreach Librarian

April 22, 2024

Pollinator Gardens are a recent concept. Reminiscent of the Victory Gardens promoted by the government during World War I and II, the Pollinator Garden effort is intended to help cover food shortages, only this time, for insects.

A pollinator can be a bee, beetle, ant, wasp, butterfly, moth, hummingbird, bat, or even a small mammal. These creatures assist a vital life stage for all flowering plants - something essential for healthy ecosystems. Pollinator populations have been declining, and that’s bad news for us and the ecosystem. Without pollinators, many of the foods, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines we use daily wouldn’t be possible. You can help by reducing your impact, planting for pollinators, and spreading the word!

An ongoing way to enjoy pollinators and all the work they do is to plant a pollinator-friendly garden. Just like everything else, pollinators need food, water, and shelter to survive. You can help provide these essentials by planting a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Be thoughtful when planting and remember that clumps of plants will be easier for pollinators to find than single plants.

Focus your plant choice on native and non-invasive species. Hybrid species should be avoided because they often lack the nectar, pollen, and fragrance that a natural flower would have. 

If you like seeing beautiful butterflies, consider adding the plants that caterpillars need as well. Remember that providing a home for caterpillars means having plants that will be eaten. Keep this in mind and place caterpillar host plants accordingly so they aren’t too visually prominent. While some of these host plants may be less beautiful, they will provide essential habitat and allow you to watch the butterfly life cycle right in your own yard!

The Seed Library at the Winter Park Library offers a variety of seeds 3 times a year to help you get started with your very own garden! They offer fruit, vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. Stop by the library to get a packet of native wildflower seeds to create a pollinator garden at your home. The Seed Library is made possible by collaboration and support from the Sustainability Division of the City of Winter Park and the Keep Winter Park Beautiful & Sustainable Advisory Board.

Now that you know how to help pollinators, help others by spreading the word! Together we can improve pollinator habitat, rebuild populations and raise awareness for these essential species.

Native wildflower seed packets will be available on our seed library shelf near the elevator on Monday, April 22, 2024 while supplies last!



Post Type