Looking at this area you will see a number of Native plant species growing here:
Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa.
In bloom now; pale pink/ purple tubular flowers.
Bergamot is one of the best plants for bumble bees because bumble bees have long tongues that can reach inside the tubular flower for a drink of sweet nectar. Monarchs, Skippers, Fritillary’s and other butterflies also flock to this plant.
Black Eyed Susan’s, Rudbeckia hirta.
In bloom now; yellow petals with a dark centre cone.
These flowers are an excellent source of pollen and nectar for our native bees and many butterflies.
New England Asters and Canadian Goldenrods.
Not in bloom yet. They will be in bloom if you come back in late August/September. Goldenrod often gets blamed for causing allergies but it is actually the ragweed growing near it that is the allergy culprit. Goldenrods and asters are one the most important late season food sources for our pollinators.
Plant it and they will come!
Growing native plants in your garden creates habitat that can help turn around insect and bird population decline by providing food and shelter.
For more information check out East Gwillimbury Gardeners’ and the East Gwillimbury Public Library’s webinar “Native Plants and Pollinator Gardens” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5dH9gq8ve8&t=539s
EG Gardeners’ website also has a number of resources to help you start a pollinator garden: https://www.eastgwillimburygardeners.com/
Bergamot likes to spread. If space is at a premium consider plant it in a container and put the container into the hole in the ground to control its growth. Bergamot often gets powdery mildew on its lower leaves so planting something shorter in front to hide the lower leaves makes for a more attractive planting. Yarrow is a perfect companion. Otherwise, Bergamot is a carefree perennial that is quite drought tolerant once established.
Black Eyed Susan’s are easy to grow from seed and will self-seed around your garden springing up here and there in happy abandon. They are considered biennial, meaning they bloom one year and die the next. In order to always have them in your garden, leave the seed heads standing over the winter so they can self-seed and grow the following year. The seeds heads will provide winter interest in the garden and many birds will eat the seeds for energy during the cold months.
Asters and Goldenrods- there are a number of species to look for that will grow in a variety of conditions. Canadian Goldenrod can be aggressive for a garden. Stiff Goldenrod and Blue stem Goldenrod are two species that are better for a garden.