We received a lot of great feedback (and a lot of questions) from those interested in creating a space for pollinators in their own yards so we decided that this year, one of Seraphina's Roots and Shoot's projects would be to help others create a pollinator paradise at their own houses! We began by laying out a workable budget and a plan to show others how to create a cost effective but still beautiful space for our pollinator friends. Towards the beginning of our planning phase, we thought about the varying types of yards we would be utilizing and what would be the most time efficient way of assessing, creating, and personalizing each project space.
Fi is seen here holding a map using the community mapping tool from Roots and Shoots.
Not everyone has a large, grassy yard so it needed to be something that could be done on any surface and because of limited time at some houses, it needed to be something that could be portable. Because of this, we decided on a pot large enough that it could be filled with multiple types of flowering plants with both annual and perennials choices. They needed to be the type of plants that attract bees and are a good source of nectar. As we are in South Ga, we have many early blooming plants and start seeing wildflowers and bees in February so it's important to have both early and late blooming plants when helping others decide on plants, trees, and shrubs in their yard. Planting marigold and verbena annuals for early spring blossoms and salvia or daisies as perennials that last through October are just a few examples of a good flowering mixture for your yard.
Once we decided on a mixture of flowers (based on nursery availability in the area as well) in a large pot, we thought about other factors that would need to be included such as a source of water for our pollinator friends. It gets very hot here in the spring through the fall, so we know we have to make sure to provide even a small source of water and keep it filled every day.
Our original idea was to keep the cost at $50 but after pricing out the pots, flowers, soil, rock, small pollinator house and small terra cotta water dish we adjusted the budget to $65. When pre-assessing the area with project participants, more materials could be discussed and provided for larger areas if requested.
The pots proved to be perfect for this project as they could be set up in any area of the yard or on a patio or bricked area to receive the best light and access to water options. The portability of this project was one of the key features as well.
When arriving at a project location, we first greeted the participants, assessed the space, unloaded the supplies and then spent a few minutes letting Fi discuss the project and it's goals. We then offered instruction along the way to provide education on what pollinator's needs will be and about the different plants and how best to arrange the area. We made sure to involve the participants fully so that they can continue to provide a space for pollinators year after year.
Overall, the project was a success and we had a great time doing it! We weren't able to fulfill as many requests as we had wanted to fill due to the corona virus, obviously, but there's always next year!
To create a Pollinator Paradise in you own yard you'll need:
A Large Pot (we used these)
Flowering plants, bushes, and trees (native to your area is best!)
A Source of Water (we used these)
Rocks- for your pollinator friends to perch on while drinking water.
Bee House- There are plenty of store bought or do it yourself versions to choose from. We prefer the well made houses from crownbees.com where you can even purchase some mason or leaf cutter bees to release which is fun and educational as well!
Now is the perfect time to get outside and create a bee sanctuary of your own! It's inexpensive, fun, rewarding, and has lasting benefits to the ecosystem so what are you waiting for?
To create a project of your own or to join in with an existing project in your area, head on over to rootsandshoots.org to sign up for free and get started because even doing a little can help a lot!