Bumblebee with wings spread, hovering over a violet false indigo in full bloom
Curing the Gardening Phobia

Find Pollinator Plants and Get Giddy

I totally sympathize with that yoga instructor who got lost in Hawaii. A couple of weeks ago, I was hiking in the Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. We were on a path…The diamond markers were everywhere…yellow instead of white, as shown on the trail head.

But that shouldn’t matter, right?

Wanna Float?

orange butterfly with wings open, sitting on grass

Just about when we were wondering why the path wasn’t turning east, we stumbled into a patch of slightly taller grass. Suddenly, butterflies floated up all around us. Iridescent blue, orange and black, white and black, pearlescent white and yellow…fluttering up on a soft breeze.

We squealed like little girls. Floating along with giddy happiness, it took us a while longer before we questioned again why the path wasn’t turning east.

Get Me Some!

So, you want that giddy happiness in your own garden, right? But how to get it? If you’re a beginner in the garden, relax! I’ve done the research for you. Just follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Find out what Zone you live in. Horticulturalists have mapped out planting zones based on climate and weather. There are a lot of maps out there, but I’ve picked the best one for you. Go here:  https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
  2. Take 1-2 sunny days to count the hours of sunlight in the part of yard you want to plant in. When you go to the nursery to pick out a plant, you will check the tag on the plant for its light requirements. If a plant needs “full sun,” that generally refers to 6 hours of sunlight. Anything less is “partial sun.”

A Path Through the Jungle of Websites

  1. But what plant should you buy? There are TONS of sites that want to tell you what to buy—some are only leading you to native species, some of which can be invasive. Don’t worry! I’ve done the work for you. So to protect you from accidentally spending way more time than you’ve got, I have selected a site for you. It’s the only one you need. Go here:
    1. For all Zones: www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plantfinder/plantfindersearch.aspx
    2. What is really great about this tool is that it has a fantastic filter! You can select Profile View, to get pictures of the plants. It will ask you to select your zone, and other desired traits. But to test it for you, I only selected Zone, Butterflies, and Low Maintenance—and I still got fantastic results!
    3. With only those 3 filters selected, I got 581 results for Zone 3, and 90 results for Zone 10.
  1. Now go to a large, local nursery and buy the ones you want. I recommend buying in odd numbers, and enough to fill in a relatively large space. Plants usually make a better impression when they are massed together.
  2. UNLESS, you are buying a large shrub for a specimen—that is, a single show-case type effect. In that case, of course, you only need 1.

It won’t take long before you’re giggling with delight over the butterflies in your garden!

Giddy Happiness and Mindful Relaxation

Oh yeah…we kept walking for about another hour before we came out on a road—about 3 miles past the turn-east that we were looking for. We flagged down a pick-up and the hunter kindly gave us a lift back to the parking lot—3.5 miles from that point in the road!

So that’s what a few butterflies can do for you—give you a lift right out of your troubles! Ha! But do it in your own garden.

Have fun this weekend! Fill your time with mindful activity, and go back to work refreshed.

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