June 22nd through the 28th we celebrate pollinators and their huge role in the balance of our ecosystems. Although we hear and read much on pollinators, have you ever visited a truly “pollinator friendly” garden? There is one located right in your backyard. The National Museum of Dance Gardens located at 99 South Broadway in Saratoga Springs, feature welcoming spaces and plants for pollinators to visit. In the ten years I have been working these gardens, I have transformed the open spaces of the entry gardens into places pollinators can find food and shelter throughout our rather brief North Country garden season.
Take a walk around these gardens and you will find all the elements pollinators desire for their home. The gardens at the National Museum of Dance feature a multitude of continuously blooming plants that provide nectar and pollen sources for food. The bees are currently visiting the spirea located around the water feature. Ants have visited the peony blooms. Butterflies are descending upon the newly blooming cone flowers. Later in the season you will see butterflies visiting the hydrangea and daylily blooms. The bees love the blossoms of the hosta located in the shade garden. Hummingbirds are attracted to the dwarf winged begonias gracing the entry urns on the porch.
Pollinator friendly gardens require combinations of native and non-invasive plants to provide pollinator targets. In addition to the continuous blooms throughout the season, milkweed grows within the displays. This is a host plant for the monarch larvae. The native red twig dogwood blossoms and berries feed and shelter pollinator throughout the growing season.
The trees and shrubs offer wind breaks in the sunny open area to give the butterflies opportunities to visit. The strong branches of the peony give a sheltered area for birds to nest.
A water source is necessary to be considered a pollinator friendly garden. The large water feature offers this element in abundance. On any given day you will see birds refreshing themselves in the water or butterflies feeding on the slower pools of the perimeter.
And most importantly, a pollinator friendly garden relies upon organic practices that eliminate the use of pesticides. Throughout my years at the National Museum of Dance Gardens, I have applied common sense, sustainably minded practices. The benefits to pollinators are readily seen today. Take a stroll through the gardens at the National Museum of Dance and you can experience a truly “bee-friendly” garden and celebrate National Pollinator Week this year.
Want to learn how you can create your own pollinator friendly garden? visit: http://millionpollinatorgardens.org
Coming soon: Dance of the Gardens Project. The Garden Goddess is working on a website element that invites you to experience the gardens at the National Museum of Dance as a visual “Garden Dance” in all its various art forms. We may not be able to see dance performances on stage this season, but we can experience the art of dance with the seasonal blossoms and flow of the museum gardens. I will be posting the project on my website: http://gardengoddesssenseandsustainability.com