Did you know that this week is National and South Carolina Pollinator Week? I don’t know about you, but we’re all abuzz with excitement here at Brookgreen Gardens! Without pollinators, we would see a vast reduction in our food, quality, and quantity! Their ability to pollinate flowers, like the tomatoes pictured below from Bethea’s Garden, is an incredible and vital feat! That makes me say a big “Thank you!” to our pollinator friends.
While most people think of pollinators like bees, there are many different pollinators, including wasps, beetles, flies, and even the wind, to name a few! In honor of this wonderful week of pollinators, I took a morning stroll in the Gardens to see what pollinators I could spot in action and what some of their favorite plants were. Without further ado, here are some of my top picks and some pollinators showing them the love they deserve!
Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’)
It’s hard to miss the vibrant purple flowers of the chaste tree this time of year outside the Rosen Gallery. Its colorful display draws people and pollinators. I especially love this bee that is in a hurry to enjoy it!
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Native plants, like purple coneflowers, are an excellent way to attract pollinators to your yard and help feed native fauna populations! As I walked through the gardens, I couldn’t help but notice how loaded many of our native plants were with hungry pollinators stopping by for some breakfast.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum ‘Triple Curled’)
I daresay, that the parsley foliage that we use to dress up our dinner plates is essentially serving the same purpose to our pollinators! Since the pollinators are finding sustenance from these flowers in the Old Kitchen, you could easily argue the foliage is dressing up their plates too! Parsley is also a host plant for pollinators-to-be, including certain swallowtail butterfly caterpillars – at least someone’s eating the leaves!
Appalachian Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum flexuosum)
Despite the common name, Appalachian mountain mint grows beautifully here in our coastal setting and is a South Carolina native. This plant is not only attractive to us but is also attractive to our pollinators. Who could resist those puffy flowers at Heron, Grouse, and Loon?
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Notwoodtwo’ White Chiffon™)
Big, bold, and beautiful flowers? That seems about right! Rose of Sharon draws you in with its large white blooms, and the pollinators are also seemingly powerless to its magnetic appeal. We love to see this burst into flower in the Upper Right Wing almost as much as this bumble bee does!
Pollinators are an integral part of the ecosystem and something we here at Brookgreen Gardens appreciate every day. Have a happy National/South Carolina Pollinator Week, and make sure to celebrate at your home!
See you in the Gardens!