This Easy Plant Helps Pollinators in New York State
The birds and the bees are back in our yards. The warmer-than-usual early spring has brought a lot of our flowers out early as well. Our yards are in bloom, full of happy birds and buzzing bees.
I have a weeping cherry tree in my yard that has already bloomed. That happened about 2 weeks ago, As soon as the first buds popped the tree was humming with all kinds of bees. Big bumblebees and small what seem to be honey bees all enjoying the flowers until they were gone. Not sure what kind of bees you have in your yard check out this cool New York State Bee Guide by Sharp-Eatman Nature Photography.
Bees are Back in the Hudson Valley
Now that the blooms are gone I am left with the Mocking Birds that are setting up camp in its branches. It amazes me how year after year it is the same routine, that's why when I hear about helping the pollinators I get a bit confused. I know some people suggest that you don't mow your yard. That might work for some but where I live that is just asking for ticks and snakes.
SEE Also: Places to Rent a Bike in the Hudson Valley
I agree that you need to leave some parts of your yard as wild as you possibly can but at the same time, there are flowers you can plant and other methods that will keep the bees happy and then the butterflies. I am less of a "No Mow" person and more of a "Plant More" person. Gardenia has a great guide you can follow to make your garden pollinator friendly.
What Flowers to Plant in New York to Help Pollinators
An Easy pollinator-friendly plant is the Cone Flower. It is one of the many on the Gardenia list. I had a friend give me some seeds a few years back and after the first year, I planted them I never looked back. They happily show up year after year with no effort on my part requiring absolutely no care and the best part the bees and butterflies love them.
I got lucky when I bought my house the people who had it before planted so many perennial flowers and blossoming trees that I feel like my yard might already be a pollinator playground. I would rather plant flowers that bloom all year than let my yard grow long all summer. After all, being able to sit in the yard and enjoy all the birds and buzzing is part of the fun of having a yard.
National Pollinator Week isn't until June but you can do things now that will support bees, birds, and butterflies without feeling guilty about mowing your yard. Head to your favorite greenhouse for some summer flowering plants. Your local farm market or greenhouse can tell you which plants are good for the bees and the butterflies.
And while you are at the farm market pick up some of our New York Honey a delicious reward for our efforts to help the bees.