Sample garden design: sun pollinator garden

A pollinator garden is a safe resting spot for insects and birds and provides them with shelter, food and water.

Having a variety of flower shapes will encourage many different types of pollinators to visit your garden. Select plants which flower at different times of the year to ensure you have blooms for yourself and for pollinators all summer long. Leave flower heads and stalks standing in the winter as many insects will overwinter there, and birds may feed on them. The addition of bird baths and bee houses will keep insects and birds returning to your garden each year.

Plants used in this design

Spring interest

  • Scabiosa species, pincushion flower
  • Cercis canadensis, eastern redbud
  • Stachys byzantina, lamb’s ear
  • Lupinus perennis, wild lupine
  • Physocarpus species, ninebark
  • Phlox paniculata, garden phlox

Summer interest

  • Liatris aspera, prairie blazing star
  • Heliopsis helianthoides, false sunflower
  • Penstemon digitalis, foxglove beadtongue
  • Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed
  • Weigela species, Wiegela
  • Rosa species, carpet rose

Fall interest

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian sage
  • Sedum species, autumn stonecrop
  • Anemone species, fall anemone


At least six hours of direct sunlight.


To help your soil hold moisture and decrease watering needs, add 5 centimetres (2 inches) of organic material (e.g. compost, manure, leaf mold) every couple of years. This will also provide a constant supply of nutrients, eliminating the need to fertilize, and will help quicken plant growth.


New plants may need extra watering until roots are well established (one to two seasons). Mulch will help increase moisture retention for long periods of time. Add 5-10 centimetres (2-4 inches) of mulch every two to four years to help reduce watering needs throughout the summer.

2 MBPrinter-friendly: Sun Pollinator Garden plan