Cherry Hills Land Preserve’s Lucinda Greene is a certified Master Gardener in Arapahoe County with a deep knowledge of plants and the perfect environment for beautiful flora and fauna. This month, Greene is offering advice for how best to give mothers beautiful flowers that do good for the environment:
We all know that Mother’s Day kicks off the garden season in Colorado. We also know that important critters such as bees and butterflies need a good habitat in order to thrive.
After brunch, it’s fun to stroll the aisles of the local nursery and gather up blossoming perennials, annuals, and leafy veggies to get started on that home garden. This year, give Mom a gift that helps support the important role pollinators play in the environment.
Did you know that scientists estimate that birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food? According to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce.
Pollinators help sustain our ecosystems and support natural resources by helping plants reproduce. In an urban environment, the birds, butterflies, and bees can’t take action to preserve the habitats they need. They can’t create local sanctuaries where they can rest, eat, and breed. But you can help.
Pollinator gardens use plants that provide nectar or pollen, bloom throughout the growing season, provide targets of native, or non-invasive species, and eliminate, or minimize the use of herbicides, and pesticides.
Here is a great list of pollinator-friendly plants to add to Mom’s garden today:
In addition to planting one or more of these nectar or pollen-rich plants, add areas of shelter, water, and restrict the use of herbicides. By working with nature to control pests and disease, beneficial organisms and pollinators will be able to thrive.