At this time of year with Earth Day having just passed, and Beltane being here our thoughts turn to our gardens and the Earth Mother. In that spirit I would like to share this with all of you.
The Great Sunflower project is an organization that I first heard about and began following 3 years ago. Due to the colony collapse of the honey bee, and the resulting damage to crops from the loss of pollinators, this is a project that’s not only fun it serves an awesome purpose.
For 2011 they have started the “Add a yard to your yard” campaign. The way it works is you set aside a 36″x36″ section to make a pollinator garden. It has to be a sunny spot with a water source nearby. They state that you should use Lemon Queen sunflowers and the other plants they recommend by name are California Poppies, Tropical Sunset Echinacea, Bee Balm, Cosmos, Cornflowers, and White Borage. They also used carrots and radishes that they let go to seed. Group similar plants together because pollinators are attracted to clusters.
In my past attempts to attract pollinators I have found that the boxes of wildflower mix that you pick up for a couple of bucks work really well, especially hummingbird and butterfly blends. Butterflies will congregate around pie pans , or other shallow containers, with sand and a little water in the bottom to drink from. I have also had great results with petunia’s and morning glories.
This is a project that can’t go wrong. The end result is beautification and a closer relationship with the earth and thats never a bad thing. For more info check out their web site greatsunflower.org, they have links to sites for seeds, native pollinators, etc. I have been a big fan of these guys for a while now and I hope that now they will pick up a few more!! Have a blessed Beltane!!!!!