Butterflies, bees, and birds—they’re sure signs of summer. Their presence is a comforting reminder that everything is in full bloom and flourishing. Even moths, beetles, and flies are helpful pollinators, feeding on and sustaining life for the next season. The pollination process keeps the world spinning with plants that continue to reproduce, and we totally understand why you would want to nurture that kind of life in your own yard.
No matter the size of your garden, you can turn your space into a place pollinators love to visit or, if you’re committed to it, even call their home.
Why Attract Pollinators?
It’s a vital and mutually beneficial relationship between pollinators and the plants they need. Both keep each other alive. By planting with attracting pollinators in mind, you’re assisting in keeping that relationship sustainable and helping to prevent pollinator decline. Pollinators are essential for pollinating some of our favorite plants and crops!
The best way to ensure a variety of pollinators stop by your yard is to cover all of your bases. Choose flowers of varying shape and color, provide a source of water, and create a place of shelter where pollinators can colonize.
Plant flowers that bloom all through the season: Gather a mix of flowers that bloom all season long. A good mix of perennial and annual flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, makes your garden a place pollinators can count on returning to.
Avoid hybrid flowers: Some hybrids, although they look beautiful to us, do not possess a desirable amount of pollen and nectar for pollinators. Sometimes they may not even have a fragrance, which is a big attractor for hummingbirds and insects alike. Plus, native flowers better reflect pollinators’ natural environment, making it more welcoming to them.
Don’t use pesticides: You’re inviting new life into your garden. Using pesticides, even organic ones, sends mixed messages to wildlife and may be harmful to them. Keep things growing as naturally as possible to create the safest haven for your visitors.
Anticipate new life: While there are ways to reduce it, be prepared for some of your plants’ leaves to be nibbled on. You can better control leaf-munching by growing a few host flowers that cater to the insect. That way, they have a safe place to gorge themselves and grow freely, without overrunning your garden.
Keep some water nearby: Pollinators like butterflies get nutrients and salts from wet earth. That’s why you’ll often see them near muddy puddles — they’re just enjoying a drink! If you don’t fancy having puddles all over your garden, consider including a birdbath or other water features.
Repurpose dead leaves and branches: If you are looking to give a home to bees or monarch butterflies, you can create shelter out of dead branches and leaves, which are natural attractors for insects.
Flowers for Hummingbirds
These quick-winged, long-tongued birds can be picky about the kinds of flowers they pollinate, preferring deeper nectaries with tube-shaped openings and warm red-orange colors. They’re beautiful creatures to discover in the wild, never mind our gardens! You can plant these pretty flowers to draw them in:
Honey Bee Friendly Flowers
Honey bees are kind creatures that don’t discriminate about the shape of the flowers they like to pollinate. Take this opportunity to round out your garden with varieties of fruits, flowers and herbs that will bloom from spring to fall. To name a few:
Flowers for Butterflies and Caterpillars
Butterflies prefer native plants, which is great because they’re hardy and super easy to care for. In addition to nectar, butterflies are attracted to things like rotting wood and animal droppings. We suggest putting out some overripe fruit to help draw them to your garden. Otherwise, butterflies love these varieties:
If you’re looking to host some new life in your garden, caterpillars love to munch on these plants.
It’s possible to draw the company of butterflies and hummingbirds by hanging your own nectar feeder. Making your own artificial nectar to fill it is easy. Simply mix 1 part refined white sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use artificial sweeteners or fruit juices, as these can harbor harmful fungi.
Summers in North Carolina are no joke. Just imagine a summer like ours without the cool shade of our mature trees! Shade trees are a must for any landscape, as they help to shield flowers from heavy rain while also providing some cover from the sun during hot days. Beyond that, they’re absolutely beautiful—but those aren’t the only reasons to plant more on your property.
Benefits of Shade Trees in Landscaping
Big trees bring their A-game when it comes to benefitting you and your family. Here’s how:
Large trees clean the air. A large tree can absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide.
Larger trees are also excellent at filtering noise. If noisy neighbours or constant traffic have you pulling out your hair day after day, a large tree could be your solution. To get technical, the layers of branches and foliage work as a barrier that sifts the sound waves apart, making them less audible.
While you’re creating a noise barrier, you’re also creating a privacy barrier. Shade trees and larger shrubs can keep your yard hidden from neighbors and passers-by, which helps your yard feel more like an extension of your living space.
Benefits of Shade Trees for Your Bank Account
As it turns out, planting shade trees has benefits beyond your landscape. Shade trees can also help you keep more money in your pocket.
With the right positioning in your yard, shade trees can naturally cool your home and lower your electricity bill. When your home isn’t under direct sunlight, your air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard. This means you can expect lower electricity bills in the summertime.
Then, in the cooler months, big trees can also lower your heating bill. Trees, especially evergreens, act as a natural barrier against wind, which has a the same effect on your heating system that shade has on your AC. With less cold air trying to force its way into your home, you’ll have less need to crank up the heat.
Because of all their amazing benefits, big trees can also increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell. In fact, mature shade trees like oaks have been known to increase residential property values by 7% or more.
Benefits of Shade Trees for the Environment
Trees not only have positive effects for you as an individual, but they also work to benefit the environment as a whole.
As trees clean air and filter toxins, they help to reduce the greenhouse effect and slow global warming. As we all know, the overload of toxins in the air is slowly eroding our ozone layer that protects us from the harshness of the sun. With those toxins being munched to bits by bigger trees, we can help to keep our planet green, clean, and healthy.
Rain and water runoff can cause soil to slowly erode away. Trees, however, work to prevent soil erosion. The trees absorb more water for themselves and the deep and complex root systems hold the ground together.
Trees also provide important habitats for wildlife. By planting a large tree, you’re encouraging more biodiversity in your neighborhood.
Choosing Shade Trees
At Carolina Seasons Nursery, we carry a range of trees that will gradually introduce all of these benefits over time. We carry:
There’s a reason mature trees add so much value to a community. Not only do they add stately beauty to your landscape, they also give back to your bank account and the environment. Visit us today to find the perfect shade tree for your property.
Carolina Seasons Nursery