Nectar Plants for Fall Pollinators

Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed

A recent study has demonstrated that late-season nectar plants are key to migrating butterflies and pollinators. You can enjoy blossoms through October by adding some of these beauties to your yard or natural area. Tough, tolerant, and lovely, try one for a burst of late summer and autumn flowers.

 

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

A terrific rain garden plant, Swamp Milkweed prefers full sun sites that have wet to average soils. Reaching about two to four feet high, it blooms beginning in July and August with rosy pink clusters of upright fragrant flowers. Forming colonies when conditions are right, it is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. Other pollinators find it attractive, including the occasional Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Read More…

Featured Project: Bringing Bison Home

Bison After photo 5Our client was acquiring a small herd of bison for his rural property and wanted to evoke the grasslands of the past. Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. was contracted to design and implement restoration of existing pasture areas and agricultural fields. After three years of careful stewardship, it is not only a lush pasture, but a beautiful prairie rich in wildflowers and flowing grasses. The blend of flowers, grasses, and sedges creates year-round interest and makes the pasture a favorite site, even in winter. The clients have experienced increased varieties of birds, mammals, and insects, particularly pollinators. Monarch butterflies are frequently found enjoying the flowers. Read More…

Plan a Pollinator Paradise

CoButterflies on Stiff Goldenrod 2nsider planning an area for pollinators and create your own buzzing paradise! Late fall and winter is an ideal time to take some time and decide how you can help our many beneficial insects. We welcome many species of bees and butterflies in Illinois, but don’t forget that wasps, flies, moths, bugs, and spiders are important too.

Pollinators are active from the first thaw past the first frost. Plan on nectar rich native flowers as a quick and easy food source for your insect population. Choose wildflowers thoughtfully so that you have blossoms spring to fall. For example, shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) blooms in April and is favored by bumblebees. Asters (Symphyotrichum sp.) can bloom well into November and offer an important late season stock up for migrating butterflies. Choose a variety of flower shapes to attract the most diverse array of species. Remember to add some milkweed species for monarchs, too! Read More…

Raingardens: A Sustainable Solution

Picture7Raingardens can be a beautiful addition to your site and will attract beneficial pollinators while controlling storm water and run off. By choosing a wide range of native plants, you can enjoy flowers from spring into fall, stunning fall color and unique winter interest. You’ll also create habitat for butterflies, bees, birds, amphibians and more.

Some native plants are particularly suited to a raingarden environment where they may be inundated for periods of time and then experience drought. Deep roots hold soils in place and allow for greater drought tolerance. For a sunny raingarden, consider swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), wild bergamont (Monarda fistulosa), swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), to name a few. For a shadier site, don’t forget the sedges! Their cascading foliage and handsome seed heads add dimension in a shade raingarden. Try palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), awl-fruited sedge (Carex tribuloides) or brown fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea). Read More…