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How To Garden Like It's Earth Day Everyday

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!

  1. Plant Native As Much As You Can
  2. Plant Pollinators' Favorite Varieties
  3. Provide Blooms And Habitat All Season Long
  4. 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.

Butterfly Bush and Daylilies

Butterfly Bush, Daylilies, and other pollinator-friendly plants look beautiful and support bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. 

2. Plant Pollinators’ Favorite Varieties

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.

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. 

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