Pierce County Master Gardener Pollinator Garden
In early May the Pierce County Extension office and local Master Gardeners received word that our application for an NDSU Extension Master Gardener Pollinator Grant had been approved. The North Dakota Extension Master Gardener Program is funding 15 pollinator gardens across the state. The maximum amount awarded will be $500. The purposes of this project are to:
1.Provide Master Gardeners with projects in their home communities to fulfill their volunteer hour requirements
2.Build habitat that will nourish pollinators
3.Create a public teaching garden that can be jointly utilized by Master Gardeners and Extension Agents to encourage members of the general public to build home pollinator gardens.
Since pollinators require diverse sources of nectar and pollen, the pollinator garden grant requirements indicate that the garden contain a variety of flowering plants to provide season long blooms with a minimum of 10 different perennial species and at least 3 plants per species. Because native plants attract more native pollinators and serve as larval host plants for some species of pollinators at least 6 of the 10 perennial species in the gardens were required to be native. For a list of plants contained in the garden see the end of this article.
In addition to nectar and pollen sources, the pollinator garden must also contain a water source for pollinators as well as a shelter for ground-dwelling and cavity-dwelling pollinators to rest and overwinter. To meet these requirements, our garden will contain a birdbath, a bee house, and a butterfly house.
Two area Master Gardeners, Annalise Jahnre and Meryle Vinje, helped design and plant the pollinator garden on Friday, June 3 a third cooperating Master Gardener, Stacy Beckman, was unable to participate due to a scheduling conflict. All three Master Gardeners have been involved in the grant writing and garden planning process and will be involved in delivering educational programming. Plans are being made to host a bee and butterfly house construction demo in addition to a tour and showcase of the pollinator garden and plants later this summer or early fall. To add to the fun, Master Gardeners’ hope to add a seasonal perennial plant exchange in which participants can bring plants from their own gardens to trade and share with other gardeners.
The Pierce County Master Gardener pollinator garden is located in the existing beds of the Memorial Building as this was the site approved by the Pierce County Board of Commissioners during their May meeting.
The flower beds contain varying combinations of the following plants:
Spring Flowering Perennials
-Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)
-Red Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis)
-Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla patens)
June Flowering Perennials
-White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba)
-Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)
-Butterfly Milkweed (Zizia aurea)
-Golden Alexander (Asclepias tuberosa)
Summer Flowering Perennials
-Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis)
-Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)
-Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Fall Flowering Perennials
-New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
-Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
-Cosmos (Cosmos spp.)
-Borage (Borago officinalis)
Additional information on butterfly and pollinator gardens can be found in the NDSU Extension publication E-1266, “Butterfly Gardening in North Dakota “ which can be obtained at your local NDSU Extension office or online at “https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extensionentomology/urban-and-forestry-insect-pests/documents/gardens/e-1266-butterfly-gardening-in-north-dakota”>www.ag.ndsu.edu/extensionentomology/urban-and-forestry-insect-pests/documents/gardens/e-1266-butterfly-gardening-in-north-dakota .
Another publication, “Living Landscapes in North Dakota: A Guide to Native Plantscaping” can be found by visiting www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs141p2_001520.pdf – for hard copies of this publication please check with your local Natural Resource Conservation Service office for availability.
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