When you start planting your garden next season, think about our local pollinators because they are critical to sustaining a healthy ecosystem. Think about creating a garden that attracts and supports our local pollinators. You can create your own pollinator garden by following these tips.
Leave dandelions in your garden during the early spring as they act as a food source for bee’s. Prune and deadhead flowers as needed to encourage new growth and a longer flowering season. You should consider mass planting; this helps pollinators spot resources more easily, pollinate more effectively, and spend less energy collecting pollen. Provide Bee-nests; these are small containers that provide shelter and increase the number of pollinators in your garden. Bee-nests can be purchased at the North Bay Museum and at Laporte’s Nursery and Greenhouses in support of the North Bay Heritage Gardeners.
Attract and provide food for pollinators throughout the entire growing season by planting species with various bloom sequences. In early to mid-spring, Bees and pollinators are mainly attracted to yellow, white, and blue blooms. Early spring bloomers that attract and support pollinators include crocuses, irises, and snowdrops.  Mid-late spring bloomers include grape hyacinth, perennial salvia, and allium. Midsummer bloomers include coneflowers, False Sunflowers, and bee balm. If you want an all-season bloomer, consider planting Russian sage. 
The Heritage Gardeners are constructing a pollinator flowerbed at the waterfront in the spring of 2021. The project aims to create a habitat that is favourable to local butterfly species such as monarchs. If you are interested in assisting with the creation of this bed, we encourage you to join the Heritage Gardeners! No gardening experience is required. For more information on registering as a volunteer or for educational opportunities, visit our website http://www.northbayheritagegardeners.com.