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.