Now that those of us in the northern hemisphere, much of it snowbound, are planning for, dreaming of, impatiently awaiting spring, I hope we are all planning to make our gardens ever more pollinator-friendly.
My own impatience was somewhat relieved this week when I visited the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago's Lincoln Park, a large, greenhouse-like space where the visitor can sit among and watch over 75 species of butterfly from around the world fluttering among tropical plants and basking on sunny flat surfaces. But then, of course, I had to tromp through the snow and get back on the subway for home. Back to dreaming!
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is my favorite go-to source for pollinator information. They have great down-loadable fact sheets that include regional plant lists, so gardeners can plant local for local pollinators. I just ordered their new book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies, and can hardly wait for it to arrive.
Celebrating Wildflowers, sponsored by the U. S. Forest Service, includes all kinds of pictures and information, including a "pollinator of the month" feature. Gloria at Pollinators Welcome posted a link to the page on squash bees when she commented on my rant Let's Talk about Bees.
Two go-to blogs for me are Clay and Limestone where Gail Eichelberger is doing a weekly pollinator series, and Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants, where Heather Holm frequently features interesting insects. Both blogs have marvelous photos, great for identification. As a non-photographer, I admire those who have mastered this skill--and their products.
Lastly, I really like it when plant information includes faunal associations. I check Dr. John Hilty's Illinois Wildflowers whenever I wish to learn more about a native plant I'm thinking of adding to the garden.
Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide
Let's Talk about Bees
The Polyculture Lawn: A Primer
Do Your Backyard Plants and Animals Display Phenophases?
How to Help Our Wild Native Bees