By Jay Levine
Photos: Courtesy of Laurie Szostak
Reprinted from 2014 August/September
Gardeners garden for many reasons: beauty, exercise, food and shade, among others. One reason not usually considered but that has gained momentum is gardening for wildlife, especially for pollinators. A pollinator is any animal that carries pollen from one flower to another, and pollination is the crucial step in plants’ reproduction. The most common pollinators are bees, butterflies and moths, but beetles, wasps, flies and even larger animals can be pollinators. Some are generalists (will pollinate many different flowers), while others are specialists and only pollinate a particular variety. Some specialists will only lay their eggs on a specific plant, often different from the one they pollinate. If you must use insecticides, be careful that they do not kill off the pollinators you are trying to attract.
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