celebrating mothers day with great plants for pollinators

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  • Celebrating Mothers Day with great plants for pollinators

    by Ina Warren

    Each year for Mothers Day, flowers are the gift of choice for Moms since they represent such colorful beauty, fragrance and intricate designs.

    Whether it is a vase of fresh cut flowers, an indoor arrangement or perennials for the outside garden, flowers help us express our heart-felt sentiment on Mothers Day:

    Mom, we love you, we honor you, and we thank you for our caring for us.

    Last week I had the chance to tour the White House Gardens and the new Pollinator Garden addition installed by First Lady Michelle Obama and her student helpers.

  • It was great to see the plant markers for some of my most favorite native nectar-rich perennials: Aster, Black eyed Susan, Blue Star, Cardinal Flower, Coreopsis, Goldenrod, Ironweed, Joe Pye Weed, Liatris, Mint, Phlox, Penstemon, Sunflower, Turtlehead, and three of my favorite shrubs: Sweet Pepper Bush, Spicebush and Blueberries!

    (Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan from Twitter)

  • These are the plant species I chose for this Make Way for Monarchs article to help folks learn specifics about native plants to create a similar pollinator garden.

    I call these pages meditations as I often present them at churches and conferences as a way of acknowledging them as spiritual gifts from the Earth. Each is a separate, single page PDF file from a nature meditation almanac I wrote for teachers workshops many years ago. Each one has a lot of humor, puns, song lyrics, and movie lines peppered in with the biology and natural & cultural history. When you see the musical note, thats a clue to pause a sing a line of the familiar tunes :-)

    We are reminded in the closing lines of the wonderful film, Wings of Life, (produced by DisneyNature last year) why we love flowers.

    Humans simply need to remember how intimately their lives are connected with and dependent upon flowers.

    People use flowers to express love, to honor loved ones, to enrich the great emotional moments of their lives.

    They give flowers to congratulate, to mark every milestone in life.

    They surround themselves with flowers to bring color to their lives. Flowers are grown and sold by the billions.

    In the process, people have become one of our most important pollinators.

    Like other pollinators, they feed on our rewards. And they even use our perfumes to kindle their own romance.

    To people, flowers are the universal symbol of love. After all, flowers embody the ultimate love story.

    A love story that feeds the Earth. Day after day, as flowers lift the human spirit,

    in hidden corners of the world beyond the view of people, bees are helping plants produce the worlds food.

    Everywhere, pollinators are working tirelessly to keep the vast machinery of life running.

    - Louie Schwartzberg, Wings of Life, http://vimeo.com/63681899


  • By planting native perennials (as well as friendly, nectar-rich introduced species) into our landscapes, we communicate the same Mothers Day message to Mother Earth. For the pollinators she has provided to not only pollinate our food crops but to continue the circle of life with biodiversity in our ecosystems, we say,

    we love you, we honor you, and we thank you for our caring for us.

    (Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan from Twitter)

    A marker in the Pollinator Garden quotes Thomas Jefferson: "The failure of one thing repaired by the success of another; and instead of one harvest, a continued one through the year" and reminds me that even though our modern society has "broken" the habitat of pollinators, that we can choose to fix it. A failure repaired by success. Let's get to work planting milkweeds and nectar plants for monarchs and their fellow pollinators!

    For more photos from the April planting event, access:http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/04/03/spring-has-sprung-sixth-annual-white-


    For Q&A, visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MakeWayForMonarchs


  • A few additional photos from the Garden Tour...

    The White House Bee Hive Favorite photo: Kids swing set within view of the Oval Office in the West Wing

  • Wisteria in full bloom Calling in the monarchs to the on the South Portico Pollinator Garden!


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