7June22 Plants in the garden, and sharing plants from the neighbor’s garden
Most urban and suburban lots are small relative to the natural tracts of native habitat, so there are limits to what we can plant, both in size and variety.
And, it turns out, putting your yard into context with the nearest forage/host area is quite important because many insects are limited in how far they can travel for food and lodging. To some, a football field of length can push limits of mobility.
So if you are close enough to a natural area that you can leverage it’s resources, fantastic! Add one or two specimens of various native plants can still get you to critical mass if considered as shared resources with the natural area. Same goes for sharing other resources, like water and nesting habitat.
Similarly, you can view the plants and other resources in your neighbor’s yards as something to be shared by the pollinator web of animals.
The neighbor behind us has a large Sissoo tree (not a tree that I would recommend), and the birds love the height and cover it affords. Good thing, because our backyard is only 2 years old, and even our fast growing mesquite and palo verdes need a bit more time to become truly comfortable perches.
Other neighbors have citrus, hibiscus and Arizona Yellow Bells to share. Let’s look at how some of the plants in and around the garden are looking on this 109 degree day.
I’ve found some interesting bees on the sunflowers, but no butterflies so far. On the non-pollinator side of things though, the sunflowers attract a wide array of insects from lace bugs, psyllids, long legged flies, assassin bugs and lady beetles! Oh, and birds eating the insects off of the leaves.