DescriptionI would like to share with you a walk through my pollinator garden here in Shawneetown, Illinois. Nature is awesome, it is always fascinating at the things you see if you slow down to look. As we step out the door of the sunroom onto the bricked patio to the left, we have blue salvia and pink sedum, and if the time is right, they will be full of butterflies. As we walk around the corner on the brick path, we see a lovely patch of oregano, lavender, and garlic chives. I like it when they reach the height for me to brush the tops with my hands and then I can smell their wonderful fragrances. These plants draw in a variety of bees, wasps, and butterflies as each one comes into bloom. As we continue on our path, we come to a first year Hollyhock, next year when it blooms, I will be surprised with either white, pink, or red delicate flowers all along the stock. The bumble bees just love these flowers! The red star glory and morning glory vines will take over if you are not vigilant. Now we turn to walk into the yard, and we pass orange tiger lilies, a couple of pots of petunias covered with chicken wire to keep the pesky squirrels out, mint that surrounds the underneath of the bird bath and then more orange tiger lilies and pink sedum. The ants like the lilies so we leave them alone to do their thing. After passing the wood pile where we have Jenny wrens as regular guests, and honeysuckle that covers the fence, we come to a large cluster of yellow tiger lilies and purple spiderwort. The bees and butterflies are regulars in this area.
Now we move on past the bird feeders, to see the onions planted in the once full vegetable garden. Sometimes being tall has its drawbacks, I have farther to lean down to do my weeding and farther to stand up, not so good on the back these days. So, my vegetable garden has dwindled to two sweet potatoes, a dozen yellow and red onions, purslane, and lots of wildflowers (some just call them weeds, they bloom so they are flowers in my eyes). Oh yes, and ants, lots of ants. They ate my Yukon potato plants just as they were beginning to bloom. Bad ants! The peony bush grows close by and not far from it is our beautiful red hibiscus that brings around the male and female swallowtail butterflies. As we head back to the patio through the opposite side of the yard, we come to the pink hibiscus bush that grows next to the clothesline pole. Stepping up slightly onto the bricked patio we can see the flowers and vegetables in the raised tubs (old used horse troughs) on the west side of the patio. Beautiful rows of green lettuce, dill, day lilies, more petunias, garlic chives, and lavender. The knockout rose bush that has become a tree in the far corner of the patio serves as a home to a pair of American robins who have raised three babes. The bees and wasps are constantly hovering to get all the pollen available from this beautiful display of red roses.
Finally, you will notice in the center of the patio we have our brick fire pit, close by are our glider chairs for relaxing and behind our chairs are large pots of lemon balm and fresh mint. We enjoy sharing our little part of the planet with all the pollinators who find their way to our back yard, in Shawneetown, Illinois.
-Story contributed by Christy S.