20 Mar It’s Spring! Make Way for Butterflies
Native plants and a pollinator garden go hand in hand. The native plants used in rain gardens provide the perfect habitat for birds, bees, and beneficial insects. As we’ve seen species of insects like honey bees and Monarch butterflies becoming endangered, more and more gardeners have been incorporating plants to support pollinating insects as well as for the birds. Gardeners today are planting milkweed, the sole food source for Monarch larvae, and incorporating natives to support pollinating insects.
It’s a much more casual approach rather than hands-on, intensive gardening. “Roadside weed spraying, the indiscriminate use of (herbicides) and the development of what used to be meadow areas have wiped out many of the plants that pollinators need to survive,” says Susan Wilder, a member of the Penn-Cumberland Garden Club’s Conservation Committee. According to the expert, home gardeners are compensating by reducing spraying and adding butterfly- and bee-attracting choices to their yards. “I’ve also noticed many of us are less obsessive about our lawns, allowing clover and other ‘weeds’ to be part of a more healthy, less demanding turf,” Wilder adds.