Keep this in mind as you choose flowering plants:

  • Cover all the seasons by choosing a wide range or spring, summer and autumn flowering plants

  • Represent as many flower shapes as possible - pollinators have different body shapes that have evolved to collect pollen efficiently on different shapes of flowers.

  • Plant lots of colors! Bees see blue, purple, green & yellow, while hummingbirds love red best. 

  • Plant clumps of the same flowers so pollinators don't have to fly far to the next flower. A 3' patch is a good start.

Think in Shapes

Have different shapes of flowers in your garden to accommodate
different types of bees.

Where to start?

start out easy - gardens are inherently experimental, so start off with plants that you like and see what happens.  Anything that flowers will help bees. If you have hungry deer, look for things they don't eat, like flowering spices and heather, lavender, strawberry trees and rhododendron.

next steps - Add in natives, especially ones that bloom earlier or later than most flowers. Consider lupin (early) and native asters (late). Adding in a few more native plants each year - in beds, pots, rocky spots or  even in your lawn will make a big difference over time.


Take this as far as you want! Go for a meadow look instead of a lawn to be extra delicious! Be forgiving of dandelions and other 'weeds' that attract pollinators. Enjoy the luxury of not having a neighborhood association that lays down the rules for Hamlet Gardeners! 

Work with a buddy!  Share plants, ideas, success stories seeds. In the same settlers have brought new plants to America, we can reinstate the old ones that the land needs now.

Goldenrod give bees a sweet summer pollen

Native pollinator plants 

Xerces Society Maritime plant list


Selecting plants for pollinators

Pollinator Tip Sheet

Metro's Native Plant webpage


OSU listing of the top 12 plants to entice pollinators to your garden!

OSU pamphlet on our native plants - lots of details

Sources for Native Plants provided by Clackamas County Soil & Conservation.

Tips for successfully planting over your septic system

native plants for home gardens in western Oregon

© 2019 Carol Yamada

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