What Did I Plant In My New Pollinator Garden & Why

A new garden bed and a passion for pollinators leads to new plantings

Monarch on Liatris in my “old” yard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2018.

My husband put in a new garden bed for me at our cabin. I had plans for the space. He was only going to plant grass in a clearing near the road of our two-acre wooded lot. I asked for a new garden space for native plants and pollinators. He happily obliged.

I wrote about how we prepared and put the bed in but how did I decide what to plant in it? I’ll share that with you in this article.

First, I knew my horticultural zone — these were recently redone in December of 2023 and we are 4a. Knowing your zone is essential in having the plants you buy survive your climate.

I also knew what pollinators I wanted to serve. I have been an active monarch conservationist for over twenty years, so planting host plants for both the larvae and adults was essential.

Bumblebees were next on my list. I took the Pollinator Steward Certification Class through Pollinator Partnership this winter. I knew I needed plants that would provide nectar and pollen during different seasons.

I also knew I needed plants that would leave pithy woody stems for the bees to use as fall and winter nesting spots—lastly, no weed-blocking paper and no…

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Carol Labuzzetta, MS Natural Resources, MS Nursing
Weeds & Wildflowers

Environmental educator with a passion for teaching youth using the science of awe. Traveler, Photographer, Author, Wife, Mother. Boosted Writer x 10