When I was about 8 years old, I remember the time we saw something amazing! There was a huge clump of Monarch butterflies in a pine tree next to a home we owned down on the Bon Secour River. I don’t think I know another soul who has had that experience to this day. This being nearly 40 years ago, I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last time I have seen a Monarch butterfly.
I moved “up north” to Summerdale about 10 years ago, and the milkweed population is nearly non existent far as I can tell. I think pesticides and herbicides have nearly wiped out a lot of things we took for granted as kids.
FACT: About 80% of the worlds crop species require animal pollination to set seed
Luckily for us, the human population, there are other pollinators around besides Monarchs. Which brings me to the point (kinda) of this post. Pollinators and Host Plants ! Pollinators are pretty much in a state of decline, so something I’ve started doing is leaving a spot in my garden specifically for pollinators.
I just till up a spot, level it out, and fill it with a couple of those packets of mixed seeds. I like to use Cut Flowers or something similar that you can put in a vase and enjoy indoor, too. Simply spread them out over about a 6 foot by 10 ft spot. Then lightly cover them with soil and water them down. I got really lucky this year and I had a HUGE germination rate.
Another thing I have done the past couple of years, is find specific host plants like Passion flower vine and milkweed . They are selling in our local home improvement stores nowadays…a weed….that we tried to eradicate from our fence lines forever.
I have video and pics I will post here soon of the crazy butterfly action I had out back last year. It’s what I’m patiently waiting for this year! The Gulf fritillary have JUST started showing up! Yes , I’m excited about having my huge passionflower vine DEVOURED.