Did you know that for every three mouthfuls of food and drink, one of them requires a pollinator? This is quite amazing and helps to demonstrate the importance of pollination! Birds, bats, beetles, butterflies, bees, and moths are all considered to be pollinators, along with the wind! Along with a PowerPoint chock-full of information, Valery Cordery, co-owner of East Coast Garden Center, brought with her a list of plants for pollinators Spring through Fall. This list includes bulbs, perennials, annuals, shrubs, and herbs – over 135 different species to choose from! Of course, this has my wheels turning for next years container gardening class. Could you imagine the impact Bayside could make if everyone made one container garden that supported pollinators?
The other bit of information I took away from the class was about the Magnolia Tree. The beautiful, impressive Magnolia Tree on the way to The Point? It is a great (and ancient) tree for supporting pollinators! Specifically, beetles. The flowers have evolved to support pollination by beetles, which is why the flowers are thick and leathery. The sturdiness of the flower withstands the clumsiness and chewing of the beetles, much more so than delicate flowers. Pretty interesting! So if you see beetles at the Magnolia Tree in the Spring, it is nothing to worry about and simply beetles hard at work!
For further reading on native species and the importance of pollination, Valery Cordery highly recommends Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamay, a professor from University of Delaware.