We just finished Pollinator Week yesterday but of course the work of providing for pollinators is really never done.
And before anyone takes umbrage at my title, let’s be clear about what I am saying. First, I am not advocating for invasive plants–whatever those plants are for you in your region or ecosystem. I just read a post yesterday fra gentleman who is generally a responsible garden writer and he was suggesting planting butterfly bushes for butterflies. I thought that ship had sailed long ago, and we didn’t do that–even though there are now some buddleias that are thought to be sterile. So you’re not going to see anything about those here.
Next, I do love native plants. Period. Full stop. But I married a house with lots of mature plantings. Luckily many are native. Some are not. It is irresponsible and not sustainable to destroy mature and non-invasive plants for the sake of natives.
And guess what? When my pieris japonica blooms in early spring, my native bumble bees are all over it, because it is the only thing in bloom. This is what I mean about non-native pollinators.
The above photo is a perfect example of what I mean. The bees love this little bit of cat mint. Once the mountain mint (a native) blooms, they will move on. But until it does, they need something.
And it’s hard to see in all the weediness here, but the ornamental oregano is just coming into bloom. This too is a pollinator magnet. It’s obviously not native. Do I care? Not at all.
If the bees would like native, they may have all the clover. I know butterfly larva like that. I mostly see non-native honeybees on it. Go figure.