Plants need little animals like hummingbirds, bees, bats, butterflies, and beetles to carry pollen between flowers. Pollination causes your trees to bear fruit and your naturalized wildflowers to seed, giving you a lush productive garden.

Planting native flowering plants and shrubs is the first step to attracting your local pollinators. Feeders for birds can be another big draw.

Here are a few plants that are known to be popular with birds and butterflies:

If you are trying to keep your pollinators around, don’t use any pesticides. Pesticides don’t just kill the bugs you don’t want — they kill all of them.

Consider using companion plants to repel pests, such as strongly-scented varieties in the vegetable patch (herbs work well) and “trap plants,” such as Four o’Clocks to protect your Roses, Nasturtiums to keep aphids off of more valuable plants, and Marigolds to keep nematodes from eating the roots of your tomato plants!

Finally, be sure that your pollinator-friendly garden has fresh water. A birdbath filled with pebbles (to make it more shallow), a fountain, or other water feature will greatly increase the appeal of your garden for all your winged friends!

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