Pollination

One Million Pollinator Garden Challenge: Goal Reached!

The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) has announced that it has met and exceeded the goal of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC). There are now 1,056,000 registered gardens. I first wrote about this initiative in 2017, when they had just reached 200,000 gardens. There are now five times more, mostly in the US, but still with numerous gardens in Canada and Mexico. In Europe and elsewhere, though, there is still a lot of work to do.

So, congratulations to the National Pollinator Garden Network for a job well done … but let’s not stop there!

Never Too Late to Do a Good Thing!

You can specifically plant a pollinator garden in your yard … and it isn’t even hard to do! Just by growing beautiful flowers, you’re already well underway. So, if your garden is already pollinator-friendly, you should join as well.

Pollinator gardens should:

A pollinator garden offers plenty of colorful flowers all season long. Photo: Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society
  • Use plants that provide nectar and pollen sources. Most flowers with attractively colored flowers fall into that category: annuals, perennials, biennials and also many flowering shrubs and trees.
  • Provide a water source. A bird bath, for example, or a small fountain. A friend just lets his garden tap drip a bit and you should see the butterflies and birds that attracts!
  • Be situated in sunny areas with wind breaks.
  • Have large “pollinator targets” of native or non-invasive plants. Mass plantings attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered here and there.
  • Establish continuous bloom throughout the growing season. (And who doesn’t want continuous bloom in their garden?)
  • Eliminate or minimize the impact of pesticides. Read how here: When Good Pesticides Do Bad Things.

Already Pollinator-Friendly?

Part of my front garden: note the fountain for birds, butterflies and other pollinators. Photo: laidbackgardener.blog

Maybe your garden is already pollinator-friendly? Mine was, so I registered. If yours is too, register your garden on the Million Pollinator Garden map. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and click and your garden will become one of the more than one million pollinator gardens. (Note that, at first view, the map seems to show only North American gardens, but if you click on the map and “pull” with your mouse, or reduce in it size, you can see the situation on all the continents.)

Remember, increasing the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes will help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country. And it’s so easy to do!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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