Progress Report: Pollinator Garden

Regular readers know that in April of 2022, we removed a 12’ x 12’ section of sod from the front lawn of my house in Holdrege, Nebraska and replaced it with a pollinator garden.

By replacing plain green grass with a variety of plants that appeal to pollinators, we expect to improve the natural environment for plants, insects, birds and other small creatures in my own yard as well as the yards of a fairly large number of my neighbors.

Now, in full summer, we are starting to see some real action in the garden. Bushy growth of Big Bluestem a native prairie grass, nestles in with the White Prairie Clover and Black-Eyed Susan. And, ahh, here’s a new bloom — this one is one of the Bee Balms, called wild Monardo. The lemon-mint variety is common on the prairies and like all Bee Balms, it is especially effective at attracting pollinating insects. Any day now I expect to be seeing blooms on the Grayhead Coneflower, Stiff Goldenrod, Butterfly Milkweed and Lacy-leaf Coreopsis which are also sharing space in the new garden.

I recommend setting aside green grass space for a pollinator garden. Not only does it get rid of some arguably useless lawn, but it’s also simple to prepare and plant, and requires only minimal care beyond providing water. Then all you have to do is wait for the individual plants to show up and bloom and soon after the pollinators appear. 

PS: I saw a Swallow-Tail butterfly this week too and expect to see more varieties of butterflies as we get farther into in August. A great little gift to keep on hand is the Honey Gift Set with a pollinator seed kit included.

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