When planning landscaping, consider including pollinator friendly plants for the garden and landscaped areas around your home. A healthy local bee population is critical for productive gardens so it makes sense to include some of these in the yard. Gardening in the Sea to Sky Region can be somewhat limiting due to our typically long cold winters. Whistler is generally considered Zone 4 for planting purposes while Pemberton and Squamish can often grow Zone 4, 5 and even 6 plants in some conditions. Microclimates in your own garden should be factored in when choosing what kind of plants will work best.
Choosing a variety of plants that bloom at different times will ensure a constant supply of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. Typically native and heirloom varieties are more beneficial than hybrids bred specifically for showy blooms. Pollinators love purple, violet, white and yellow. Native plants also make a great addition to any garden as they need less water to deal with our summer drought conditions. Some of our favourite pollinator friendly plants include smoke trees, variegated dogwoods, lavender, chives and purple coneflower. You don’t need a lot of space, even a few pots or containers on a deck can attract bees and butterflies. One final note, Don’t go crazy with weed killer, clover and dandelions are an important food source for bees.