Zinnias are a long-blooming pollinator favorite, including hummingbirds!
As Earth Day approaches on April 22, we’re getting excited to celebrate and do something positive for the environment. Lately, we’ve been talking about how to garden like it’s Earth Day every day. What does this mean? We outlined four key ways that you can make positive impacts with your garden on a daily basis!
Plant Native As Much As You Can
Plant Pollinators' Favorite Varieties
Provide Blooms And Habitat All Season Long
Do All That You Can, Big Or Small
Milkweed is an essential source of food for monarch butterflies
1. Plant Native As Much As You Can
Why plant native? There are dozens of reasons to add plants that are native to your climate, but we’ll focus on two of our favorite.
Native plants have evolved in your region to survive, which means they want to grow in your garden! Native plants often require less maintenance, water and fertilizer than non-natives. This is a tremendous help to both the gardener and the environment.
It has been proven that native plant species are better at supporting pollinators and local wildlife in your area, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and more. Studies show that even a small increase in native plants in one garden can help boost the number of pollinators and wildlife visiting that area.
Swamp Milkweed and Butterfly Weed are great natives to add to your garden to help support the struggling monarch butterfly population. Milkweed is essential for monarchs, because it provides breeding grounds and their primary food source throughout the entire span of their lifecycle.
We like to add as many native plants as we can to our gardens so we can offer up habitat, breeding grounds, and food for pollinators all season long.
This garden pictured above is filled with non-native butterfly bush and daylilies, making a perfect place for a bee or butterfly to stop by.
If you’ve grown varieties like Butterfly Bush, Catmint (a unique perennial), Lavender, Sedum, Zinnia or Daises, you’ve experienced the constant buzz of pollinators coming to and from these varieties. And although they aren’t native, each offer up a specific function and food source for bees, butterflies and birds. Some of these non-natives – like Zinnia – are also long-blooming, providing a long-lasting source of nectar from early summer all the way until frost.
Sedum is a fantastic late-blooming variety for pollinators - this employee photo was taken in early October in Vermont.
3. Provide Blooms And Habitat All Season Long
In a perfect world, our gardens are a mix of native varieties, along with non-native pollinator favorites, for color and nectar from early spring all the way through frost. Providing blooms for birds, butterflies, and bees from spring until frost makes their migration journeys much easier - and therefor improves their chances of survival.
Late-season varieties such as Aster,Sedum and Goldenrod are an important source of food and energy for Monarchs heading south in the fall.
Along with your long-blooming garden filled with native plants and pollinator-favories, it's also helpful to provide a source of water for wildlife, such as a birdbath.
If you have a small space to garden in, planting pollinator favorite Marigolds, and providing a water source, can go a long way for a tired butterfly on its journey!
4. Do All That You Can, Big Or Small
There are so many different types of gardens and gardeners out there! Maybe you have acres of land and time to commit to create a Monarch Waystation. Or maybe you’re just starting out with window boxes on your city balcony, and you choose to plant pollinator-friendly plants in containers. When each of us does all that we can, big or small, we can make life a little easier for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
So, this Earth Day, let’s celebrate the work we’re doing in our gardens all year long! We truly hope you’ll join us in this initiative to garden like it’s Earth Day every day.
Shop American Meadows Pollinator Friendly Wildflowers
Fall is the perfect time to sow wildflowers! Our Fall Maximum Wildflower Seed Mix is designed for fall planting and will have your garden bursting with blooms. Our easy-to-grow mix includes 42 flower varieties for a boldly colorful planting. Perfect for meadows, garden beds, and lawn replacement. This hardy mix is perfect for any region: in warm climates, plant for bright fall colors; in cool climates, plan a dormant fall planting for blooms from spring through fall. All seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid free, and guaranteed to grow.
Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat to northeastern pollinators throughout the length of the growing season. Annual and perennial wildflowers like New England Aster, Black Eyed Susan, Milkweed, Coreopsis and Cosmos provide pollen, nectar and shelter for hundreds of important species, including Monarch butterflies and native bees. Contains only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds, best for planting in CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, QC and the Eastern Townships. Guaranteed to grow.
Restore native habitat to the landscape by planting the Native Northeast Wildflower Mix. Containing 18 native wildflowers found throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic, including Spotted Joe Pye Weed, Butterfly Weed, Red Columbine and Wild Lupine, this colorful mix is incredibly easy to care for. Best for planting in: CT, DE, MD, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, QC and the Eastern Provinces. All of the seed we offer at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
A field of Lupine is an amazing sight, with spiky blooms of saturated indigo-blue that last from late spring to summer. Combine them with later-blooming flowers (like Shasta Daisy and Rudbeckia) for an extended season of color. Growing to be about 12-36” tall, Lupine is a great choice for the front of the meadow or garden bed. Extremely easy to grow and deer resistant, this perennial flower blooms year after year. Seeds are 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
Shop American Meadows Bee Friendly Perennial Flowers
Sensational!™ Lavender is an improved, easy-to-grow variety that makes growing lavender accessible to more gardeners than ever! Silvery foliage is topped by large, dense purple flower spikes. With a compact, dense habit and notable durability for sun, heat, and humidity, as well as cold tolerance, Sensational stands apart from many traditional Lavender varieties. A favorite of honeybees, these fragrant flowers will attract a wide range of pollinators. (Lavandula x intermedia)
The Buzz And Flutter Pollinator Pre-Planned Garden offers a rich tapestry of colors and textures that will attract and nourish bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Bold flowers bloom from mid-spring through fall against a backdrop of season long interest from Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass. Garden of 13 plants, with care instructions and planting map.
Calamintha creates a serene, inviting space with clouds of tiny white blossoms and dense, finely textured foliage that releases a rejuvenating minty fragrance. Flowering from early summer until fall, Calamintha attracts a host of pollinators. Drought tolerant plants spread gently and will drape over the edges of containers and rock walls, softening hard edges as a lovely filler, edging plant, or groundcover. 2021 Perennial Plant of the Year. (Calamintha nepeta)
Anise Hyssop is a native perennial that keeps you in fragrant pollinator heaven from mid-summer to fall. With a sweet licorice-mint fragrance, long lasting pale purple flowers, and an easy-to-grow nature, this is a pollinator powerhouse favored by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Its leaves make a delicious tea too! Deer and rabbit resistant. (Agastache foeniculum)