Jean Vernon has written an amazing book, Attracting Garden Pollinators, unlike other books about the importance of garden pollinators. She has gone beyond talking about butterflies and bees. Chapter One, What is a Pollinator? gives us 16 pages explaining the kinds of creatures that will pollinate the plants in our gardens. We learn about what is important to the pollinators – pollen and nectar to start.
Bee fly – There is an annual #BeeFlyWatch and log your Bee fly sightings to help scientist understand them more.
In Chapter Two we Meet the Pollinators. Here she gives us an amazing number of types of pollinators. We are familiar with butterflies and bees of many types. There are moths, in the morning and at night. There are wasps and beetles. There are hoverflies, about which I never knew anything until I read this book. Neither did I know that caterpillars are the most important food for butterflies. Butterflies and moths lay their caterpillars on particular leaves because otherwise the the larval stage creatures will die. Chapter Two gives us lots of unfamiliar information about unfamiliar plants and unfamiliar pollinators. This is a long chapter.
Chapter Three – Important Pollinator Habitats gives us more special information. Ponds! Hoverfly Drone flies have Hoverfly lagoons, but there are many other habitats. Flowerpots and planters are useful, stone walls and mossy banks welcome bees and moths. Hedges are useful, as is wood and timber. Many of us will find out that greenhouses, compost bins and bird boxes can supply homes for wasps, beetles, and bees. The number of ‘homes’ for the various ‘bugs’ that work in our neighborhood continues.
Plants for Pollinators – from page138 to 188 we have a list that include herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, borage and many other herbs, vegetable plants like peas, runner beans and more. Then comes the climbers for pollinators from red jasmine to sweet peas. Vernon also includes pollinator plants for pots and hanging baskets. Fruit is for pollinators, blueberries, blackberries, apples and pears and more. There other shrubs and trees like willow, hazel, alder, horse chestnut (and I have these!) and winter cherry.
This is a great book, and Jean Vernon is an award winning writer. She is passionate about bees, pollinators and our environment. She has provided a great amount of knowledge in this beautiful book.