Annuals in the Landscape
“The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pollinators contribute enormously to an ecosystem in the process of acquiring sustenance. While the transfer of pollen is an invaluable contribution, one cannot underestimate the balm pollinators provide for the spirit. Time spent in the observation and appreciation of these delicate creatures is never wasted.
In an effort to attract pollinators to the local landscape, the first and quite appropriate response is to plant nectar plants. An abundance of annuals and perennials are available from local garden centers and sales sponsored by botanical gardens. Annuals are plants that live for one season while perennials live more than one season.
Vinca is an easy-to-grow annual to attract pollinators. Available in a variety of colors, it is a budget friendly addition to the landscape. Gardeners will be pleasantly surprised in the spring to find this sun lover will sometimes reseed. Hummingbird moths find vinca a favorite source of nectar.
Another budget friendly and sun loving annual is the zinnia. It too, comes in a variety of colors as well as heights. The dwarf variety pictured, is particularly well liked by butterflies including the Painted Lady. Click here to learn more about zinnias .
More can be learned about the equally beautiful, Painted Lady, by clicking here.
This industrious little bee reminds us that herbs also provide nectar sources for pollinators. Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is an annual in the mint family.
The common checkered-skipper is another frequent visitor to basil plants. Plants can be purchased from garden centers and are easily started from seed.
Learn more about the common checkered-skipper by clicking here.