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Dear Ms. B, 

I want to grow a gorgeous garden that’s also pollinator friends. Can you help me make something both beautiful and bountiful for the birds and the bees?

—Buzzing With Excitement


My Darling Buzzing,

We’re all craving company, so let’s roll out the red carpet and tell our winged friends to invite a pollinator plus-one to our backyard buffets.

To please bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds, start with native plants. Luckily, this needn’t look like an overgrown weed bed. You can still have bursts of color to brighten your corner. A few of my favorites:

Red cardinal flower, orange butterfly milkweed, yellow black-eyed Susans (AKA rudbeckia), blue wild lupine, pink coneflower (echinacea).

Pollinators also need sources of shelter, food, and fresh water. Birdbaths and water features provide a little drink. To attract a diverse crowd of birds to your backyard, offer a variety of seed. Nyjer Thistle lures finches, safflower is the treat of choice for cardinals. Almost all birds love suet, but it’s especially popular with woodpeckers and robins.

Yours in pollen and perennials,