by Amanda

milkweed
Asclepias Milkweed with Monarchs, Customer Photo by Bernice Z.
We’re excited to be sponsoring the Pollinator Partnership in 2015. This non-profit is the largest organization in the world that is dedicated to the protection of pollinators and their ecosystems.
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The Pollinator Partnership not only works hard for the protection of pollinators, but also helps to promote the importance of pollinators in our world. They shed light on the problem (and solutions) through initiatives in governments and industry, consulting, public outreach and education programs. They work in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries around the world to help preserve the pollinator population. From their website: “Many pollinator populations are in decline and this decline is attributed most severely to a loss in feeding and nesting habitats. Pollution, the misuse of chemicals, disease, and changes in climatic patterns are all contributing to shrinking and shifting pollinator populations. In some cases there isn’t enough data to gauge a response, and this is even more worrisome.” So how can you help? The Pollinator Partnership works with gardeners and farmers to create better habitats for all pollinators. They work on conservation techniques that you can create in your own back yard.
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But how? It’s pretty simple. Choose native plants and make sure to create a garden that is in bloom all season long, which will help busy pollinators know that your garden is a good spot for them to stop at. Growing a vegetable garden? If you plant native flowers around your garden, the pollinators will help you get bigger and better crops. If you’re looking for a comprehensive database on native plants, try using the great online tool from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. For others way to help, visit the Pollinator Partnership website, but they emphasize that everyone should be spreading the word about the importance of pollinators and supporting farmers and beekeepers by buying local honey and locally produced organic foods. Stay tuned for the second part of our blog, which will outline a variety of seeds, bulbs and perennial plants that you can add to your garden this season to help the disappearing pollinator population. Happy Gardening! Zinnia  
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