Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Big Fat Pollinator Garden

From the bean of Green Bean.

March in California was sandwiched by rainstorms. Not enough to quench California's overwhelming thirst but enough to bring my garden to life.

Last fall, I skipped planting fava beans in their traditional patch.  Instead, I stuffed the bare soil with California native seeds.  All winter, I tugged out oxalises but let the cheeseweed grow.  Hey, its a butterfly larvae plant!

One sunny day, armed with a camera and a telephoto lens, I tiptoed through the flowers. You see, if you walk past the flowers without looking - really looking - you will miss it.  Sure, you may hear the hum.  See the flit.  But you'll miss the quick creep of a red ladybug.

The intricate designs on the blue skipper that floats from flower to flower.

The orange knees of a busy bumble bee.

The helicopter whir of a hoverfly.

Or the discovery of a golden bumble bee.  (It is a male Valley carpenter bee.  Several of his buddies came to court as well.)

How do you plant a pollinator garden? Ditch the pesticides.

Embrace volunteers (borage and wild radish can be friends!).

Plant native wildflowers.

Let flowers bloom where they may (most of the poppies are growing in the gravel path).

My pollinator garden made everyone happy.  Me.  The bees.

My fava beans (stuck in a raised bed with a bumper crop on the way).  My apple and pear trees, their blossoms ravaged by pollinators who swarmed the borage and poppies at their feet.  My citrus trees bursting into bloom at the same time as the lupine and Chinese houses. 

Yep. You can't help but be happy in my big fat pollinator garden.

This post is part of the Tuesday Garden Party.  Come visit for more gardening inspiration.


Heather said...

Your garden is GORGEOUS!!

Green Bean said...

Thank you, Heather! I have to confess that spring is really my garden's best time. I'm working to make sure there is stuff (beyond vegetables) blooming year-round but August is not as beautiful as March.

Betsy Escandon said...

Fabulous! Love the close ups of the happy insects. And your yard is indeed gorgeous.

Christy said...


Mindful Echo said...

I love those closeups of the pollinator team! They should be up in your garden as "employees of the month" lol

Alice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Green Bean said...

Thank you all! Yes, the pollinators are the best employees ever. Just make sure they have food, water and places to find shelter and they will work for free!

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

These are great tips illustrated by your fabulous garden! Thanks so much for sharing this!


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