The Pollinator Preserve

“…drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of what you see.” ― Rachel Carson

The Pollinator Preserve exploded in color, starting with spring bulbs and emerging plants. We quickly noticed the perennials were stronger and larger at one year old, with so many more flowers throughout the gardens. The gardens speak not only to the insects but to us as we weave our way through the space. We see the various shapes and colors of flowers and begin noticing the insects in and around them. We slow down and pay attention, beginning to understand this complex world more with each visit.

Outside the netting, we watch the bees and see many sizes and colors throughout the seasons. They seek nectar and pollen and immediately know where to find it, avoiding flowers that no longer offer sustenance. A butterfly flutters by, landing on various leaves as she is here to find the right plant for her eggs. She tastes each leaf with her feet and slows down when she finds it, quickly depositing an egg before flying off to the next plant. We pass the milkweed noticing the orange aphids, and spot the lady beetles here to gobble up these pests. Nature has sent in the army, and no pesticides are needed.

The birds are a joy as they visit throughout the year. Nesting robins chose our cherry tree while wrens used one of our native bee houses. A rotting log continues to interest chickadees as they search for insects. The hummingbirds know just where their favorite nectar flowers are, while the American goldfinches provide movement and color as they snack on seeds.

The butterflies seem to take so long to arrive, especially this year. By mid-July we are in full swing with eggs, caterpillars and butterflies. Our cecropia moths went from eggs to giant caterpillars in five weeks, and now we wait until June 2023 for them to emerge from their cocoons.

We offer you a view into the life cycles of many insects and share how you can enjoy more of nature at home. Come take part in Citizen Science, take a tour with our volunteers or just come to feel the energy in this small ecosystem. We think Rachel Carson has it right as we wonder about the meaning of what we are seeing.

So come along with us on this journey in 2022, both here online and in person at the Pollinator Preserve! Scroll down to learn more about our plant designs, articles, additional resources and more!

Many thanks to PECO for their generous program support! For education in the Pollinator Preserve in 2021 and for a roving Garden Education Station in 2022.

Pollinator Blogs and Videos

Design and Plant Lists

Additional Resources