I am a lot of things including a wife, a parent/grandparent, a retired nurse, a volunteer, a knitter, a bridge player, and an outdoor gal. But I self – identify most as a wildlife gardener.
Like many of the pollinators that I take pleasure having around me during the warmer seasons, they and I am fortunate to spend a short time away during the winter avoiding some of the cold icy days.
Now, as I prepare for spring, and their return, I am reminded that pollinators play a crucial role for our survival.
During the winter when the backyard feeders were filled daily and the trees were bare, I noted the many places where the critters around me will find or build their future homes.
I am reminded, there are many insects and other small critters in Canada, especially in the warm summer months and they might not get the warmest of welcomes. Many are allies I need in my garden so my choice is for “no pesticides” that harm not just the unwanted insects but have a lethal effect on those insects that are beneficial, butterflies and birds and other critters.
Spring plans: I will –
Plant or nurture flowering plants, including those that produce berries, preferably native and neonics – free that are rich in nectar.
Plant some herbs such as Coriander, Fennel, Dill. Lavender, Thyme, Mint and Parsley to attract all the good guys. I will have the added benefits of having fresh herbs on hand.
Mix things up by placing plants that attract the good insects near plants that need protection, like my vegetable garden for example.
Check the areas created to provide places for shelter by adding to or building a brush pile/ dead wood pile where small critters can grow and reproduce or find shelter and raise their young. Ground nesting birds are attracted to even the smallest area of grasses/weeds left to grow and produce flowers and seeds.
Provide a source of water for the birds and also for the good insects, butterflies and bees by leaving a shallow dish of water with stones in it for a place to land.
With a little effort the result will keep our yard a welcome haven for all the beneficial pollinators bees, butterflies and songbirds.