Pretty Pollinators

What is Pollination?

The process by which plant pollen is transferred from the male reproductive organs to the female reproductive organs to form seeds. In flowering plants, pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma, often by the wind or by insects. In cone-bearing plants, male cones release pollen that is usually borne by the wind to the ovules of female cones.

Some plants can self-pollinate, others must cross pollinate.

What Can You Do For Pollinators?

Be sure your garden has these 3 elements: water, shelter, and food.

Plant a garden using Native flowering plants

  • Native plants have co-evolved with pollinator species and are well adapted to the climate, soil and growing season- it is okay to plant non-native plants, some are just very invasive.
  • Provide a variety of flower shapes and colors since different pollinators are attracted to different types of flowers.

Plant single bloom varieties

Pollinators can get pollen from single bloom flowers much easier because their nectaries are exposed. Petals of double bloom varieties often block the flower's nectary, making it difficult to navigate.

Provide shelter for nesting and egg-laying

  • Dead trees or limbs, tall grasses, shrubs and low growing plants create nesting habitats for bees
  • Minimize manicuring, allow things to grow a little wild for ground-nesting bees
  • Artificial nesting boxes can be purchased at many garden centres

Provide food and water

  • A pollinator garden will provide pollen and nectar. Consider adding special feeders to help attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Plan ahead. Pollinators require a constant source of food from when they emerge in the Spring, right through the Fall. Be sure to have a continuing sequence of flowers in bloom to provide pollen throughout the whole growing season.
  • Butterflies require specific host plants to lay their eggs so that their caterpillars can feed on them once they hatch. Once the caterpillars become butterflies, they feed on all nectar and pollen sources.
  • Plant in clumps rather than single plants to better attract the pollinators. Bees tend to collect pollen from one type of plant at a time.

Pollinators locate food sources by sight and scent

Not all pollinators see colour the same as we do. You can help them by choosing plants that have white, yellow, blue or purple flowers. This will help them spot resources in your garden more easily! Pollinators will also go crazy for aromatic flowers, such as lavender and all the herbs known!

Avoid using pesticides, try organic

If you must use a pesticide, choose one that is the least toxic to non-pest species, does not persist on the leaves, and apply it in the evening or early morning when most pollinators are not active.

Our Statement

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of concern over the decrease of Monarch butterflies and now a decrease in pollinator populations, especially bees. The concern has been pointed to both a loss of habitat and pesticides, in particular pesticides containing neonico- tinoid's (Neonic's).

Willowbrook Nurseries does not use Neonics in our spray program. Willowbrook Nurseries uses a very strict IPM Integrated Pest Management program. It is in our best interest to use as little chemicals as possible for the safety of our environment, our own employees and also to reduce costs. Wherever possible we use cultural practices in our production such as hand weeding (which is labor intensive), weed guards, cocoa discs, wood mulch and ground cloth to suppress weed growth. We also ventilate our greenhouses as much as possible, which reduces populations of aphids and other cosmetic insects. We strive to keep our nursery spotless to eliminate any breeding areas for insects and pests.

The nursery industry represents only a miniscule frac- tion of neonic use. It is estimated to be a fraction of 1%, and at the moment there is a ban on the use of neonics for cosmetic reasons. Most neonics are used as a seed treatment for food crops.

As a nursery supplying the garden center industry, we have the best solution to increasing bee populations. The more we plant, the more pollen there is for bees, birds, and butterflies which also provides a habitat for them to thrive in.

Willowbrook Nurseries

List of plants for pollinators

Achilea (Yarrow)
Alcea (Hollyhock)
Buddleia (Butterfly bush)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Dianthus (Pinks)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)
Echinops (Globe Thistle)
Foeniculum (Fennel)
Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
Lavandula (Lavender)
Leucantenum (Shasta Daisy)
Liatris (Liatris)
Monarda (Bee Balm)
Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
Salvia officinalis (Sage)
Scabiosa (Pincushion flower)
Sedum spectabile (Stonecrop)
Abelia (Glossy Abelia)
Ajuga (Bugleweed)
Alcea (Hollyhocks)
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)
Digitalis (Foxglove)
Hesperis matronalis (Dame's Rocket)
Heuchera (Coral Bells)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Salvia Officinalis (Sage)
Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)
Agastache foeniculum (Giant hyssop)
Borage (Starflower)
Cleome (Bee plant)
Dogwood (Flowering and fragrant species)
Echinops (Globe Thistle)
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
Helianthus (Sunflower)
Japanese Cherry (Kwanzan)
Lavandula (Lavender)
Linum usitatissimum (Flax)
Lupinus perennis (Lupine)
Mentha (Mint)
Monarda (Bee Balm)
Monarda didyma (Bergamot)
Papaver (Poppy)
Rosa canina (Wild Rose)
Salvia officinalis (Sage)
Thymus (Thyme)
Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)
Star Flower (Borage)
Hollyhocks (Alcea)
Milkweed (Asclepias)
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Willow (Salix)
Morus (Mulberry)

Our Program