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Our Top 9 Plants for Butterflies, Bees and Hummingbirds

It is always interesting and exciting to watch visitors, like birds, butterflies and bees, enjoying our gardens. Besides being fun to watch, they are also pollinators that are essential for the health of our gardens – especially our food producing plants and trees.

“We need to think of our gardens as habitats for birds, butterflies and bees.” says Jean, our perennial expert here at West Coast Gardens. “By using organic practices and choosing plants that attract pollinators we are supporting their populations and contributing to the overall health of our gardens.”

Here are some of Jean’s favourite plants that will attract pollinators year after year:

Milkweed (Asclepias)
Though this meadow-like flower attracts both bees and butterflies, Milkweed is well known for being the only plant to sustain the Monarch Butterfly.
Attracts: Bees & Butterflies
Jean’s Pick: Asclepius Incarnata for its pink blooms and pointed leaves.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
The butterfly bush is sure to attract the winged visitors of its namesake with its large conical flower clusters that last all summer long. New varieties of butterfly bush do not seed themselves and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Attracts: Butterflies & Bees
Jean’s Pick: Buzz Skyblue for its blue colour and compact shape.

Yarrow (Achillea)
These leggy flowers add a touch of whimsy and a pop of colour to your garden.
Attracts: Bees & Butterflies
Jean’s Pick: Yellow Moonshine for its yellow flowers and silver foliage.

Catmint (Nepeta)
Catmint is related to Catnip, but much more showy, your feline friends will thank you for adding this drought resistant plant to your garden, and so will the butterflies and bees. Catmint blooms are purple-blue and long lasting.
Attracts: Bees & Butterflies
Jean’s Pick: Prussian Blue for its bright blue flowers and low maintenance.

This all-time-favourite flowering shade plant has glossy green leaves year round. In the spring Skimmia has large conical bunches of tiny flowers that give a sweet and sophisticated fragrance.
Attracts: Bees
Jean’s Pick: Skimmia Red Princess - the female plants will produce gorgeous bright red berries in the presence of a male.

Lavender (Lavandula)
Lavender is the classic Mediterranean beauty whose flowers and foliage also smell fresh and fragrant.
Attracts: Butterflies & Bees
Jean’s Pick: Double Anouk or “Butterfly Lavender” for its full foliage and buds.

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
Hummingbirds show a preference for trumpet shaped flowers and they love Calibrachoa - a colourful annual for the sun. Next time you are in the store, look up, and you’ll probably see them zooming overhead from basket to basket.
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Jean’s Pick: A hanging basket full of Calibrachoa for its low maintenance and sheer volume of flowers.

Honeysuckle Vines (Lonicera)
The honeysuckle is a sweet smelling vine that is known to be a quick and easy grower.
Attracts: Bees, hummingbirds and songbirds.
Jean’s Pick: Lonicera Mandarin or Lonicera Major Wheeler for their warm multi-coloured blossoms.

Coppertips (Crocosmia)
Add a little bit of drama to your garden with Coppertips. They are hummingbird magnets and have been known to cause these passionate and territorial birds to get quite feisty in the garden.
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Jean’s Pick: Crocosmia Lucifer for the cascades of bright red trumpet-like flowers.


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