Bee Spaces: Plants in Award Winning Pollinator Garden

  • Post published:07/03/2018
  • Post comments:6 Comments
Me and Bee Spaces Award
Me, Rep Kulik and my Bee Spaces Pollinator Award and Representative Stephen Kulik

I was so happy when my garden won a Bee Spaces Pollinator Award given by the Franklin County Beekeepers Association and the Second Congregational Church, and presented by Representative Stephen Kulik. The awards are intended to promote gardens  that will feed  and support many of our important pollinators. I thought I would make a list of the most important pollinator plants in my award winning garden. It might help you get more pollinators in your garden

Tiarella or foam flower
Tiarella or foam flower

The Foam flower bloom early in the spring, spreads at a moderate rate, and makes a great groundcover.

Echinacea or coneflower
Echinacea or coneflower

Coneflowers have become very popular. They come in many colors, but the bees are happy with the white ones, and these Echinacea purpurea.

Aesclepias tuberosa
Aesclepias tuberosa – milkweed

Monarch butterflies need milkweed foliage for their larvae to eat, but bees loves these more manageable milkweed flowers for the garden.Bee Balm

Bees love bee balm which comes in many shades of red, pink, white and purple.


Zinnias are such cheerful pollinator flowers that I must have them every year. I think they keep the bees cheerful too.

clethra alnifolia
Clethra Alnifolia or Sweet pepperbush

Clethra alnifolia blooms in the spring to feed all those hungry bees. Shrubs are important as pollinator plants, just as well as flowers.

Buttonbush or Cephalanthus occidentalis

Buttonbush has such interesting flowers that appear in  the summer. They love growing in wet spots. I love this unusual pollinator shrub which thrives in my wet garden.

Turtlehead or Chelone

You can kind of see the ‘turtlehead’ in the Chelone blossoms. Chelone serve many functions from pollen and nectar for the bees, to cover for birds, food birds, and for caterpillars. My garden is very wet and turtlehead doesn’t mind at all.

Liatris or Blazing Star

Liatris is an important plant for Monarch nectar, as well as for bees of every variety. Other of my favorites flowers are Lobelia or cardinal flower,   winterberry,   Solomon’s Sealbloodroot,   Joe Pye Weed,  and elderberry.

Native columbine

Another favorite pollinator plant in my garden is the spring Columbine,  which comes in beautiful colors and forms. For more information about caring for Columbine visit  Happy DIY Home.  They offer good, full  information about this flower.

Many more plants, not in my garden, offer pollen and nectar, shelter for birds, food for caterpillars and birds, and nest sites for birds. How many pollinator plants do you have in your garden?

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    Congrats on your award. I wish I had a place wet enough for button bush. It is one of my favorites. I also can’t seem to grow Liatris. No excuse for that except maybe not enough sun but the rest of these plants I have in my garden.

  2. Rose

    Congratulations on your award, Pat! I am so impressed that so many organizations in your area recognize the importance of pollinators enough to give awards. Our local Master Gardener group promotes a program called “Pollinator Pockets,” encouraging people to plant at least a small area with pollinator-friendly plants. I think it’s reached a lot of people, but many more need to be aware of this!

  3. Pat

    Lisa – I love my buttonbush, but as you already know there are many many more pollinator plants than I have named. I am going to have to add sunflowers because the sunflower pollen is so important. If you go to you’ll find information about the medicinal uses bees make of sunflower pollen.

  4. Pat

    Tinky – and Brava to the rhubarb cook. I heard many lovely comments from people at lunchtime about their visit to your kitchen. That cake was fabulous.

  5. Pat

    Rose – we are lucky to live near UMass where they are doing research on bees, and working support bees as energetically as the Beekeepers Association. I have also heard that a 10 x10 patch of pollinator flowers will do wonders for the bees. Easy to do, even with annuals like Zinnias!

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