REVIEW: The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman
The passion and urgency that inspired WWI and WWII Victory Gardens is needed today to meet another threat to our food supply and our environment—the steep decline of pollinators. The Pollinator Victory Garden offers practical solutions for winning the war against the demise of these essential animals.
Pollinators are critical to our food supply and responsible for the pollination of the vast majority of all flowering plants on our planet. Pollinators include not just bees, but many different types of animals, including insects and mammals. Beetles, bats, birds, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps can be pollinators.
But, many pollinators are in trouble, and the reality is that most of our landscapes have little to offer them. Our residential and commercial landscapes are filled with vast green pollinator deserts, better known as lawns. These monotonous green expanses are ecological wastelands for bees and other pollinators.
With The Pollinator Victory Garden, you can give pollinators a fighting chance. Learn how to transition your landscape into a pollinator haven by creating a habitat that includes pollinator nutrition, larval host plants for butterflies and moths, and areas for egg laying, nesting, sheltering, overwintering, resting, and warming. Find a wealth of information to support pollinators while improving the environment around you:
• The importance of pollinators and the specific threats to their survival• How to provide food for pollinators using native perennials, trees, and shrubs that bloom in succession• Detailed profiles of the major pollinator types and how to attract and support each one• Tips for creating and growing a Pollinator Victory Garden, including site assessment, planning, and planting goals• Project ideas like pollinator islands, enriched landscape edges, revamped foundation plantings, meadowscapes, and other pollinator-friendly lawn alternatives
The time is right for a new gardening movement. Every yard, community garden, rooftop, porch, patio, commercial, and municipal landscape can help to win the war against pollinator decline with The Pollinator Victory Garden.
Well, it’s no secret that we’re in an ecological mess. The decline of pollinators – those animals who cheerfully help plants reproduce – is drastic. The effect that it’s going to have on plant survival and our survival if we don’t give them a hand, could be grave. Up to 80% of flowering plants depend on pollinators. According to the UN, 84% of crops grown for human consumption depend on pollinators and we’re letting the team down.
What to do about it, though. Well, think back to the Victory Gardens of WWI and WWII that helped grow the food needed to feed nations during wartime. Yep, Pollinator Victory Gardens to the rescue. You don’t need to plow up your yard but cutting down or (best) eliminating the lawn is a start. Just think of all the crap that gets dumped on grass to make it grow only to then cut it. And for pollinators, a lawn is basically a desert. Oh, and butterfly bushes are not native to North America and none of our native butterflies will lay their eggs on it.
Increase your native flowering species: be sure there is a succession of blooming plants, eliminate mono-cultures and invasive plants, provide nesting, sheltering and wintering sites. Most people think of bees but beetles, moths, butterflies, birds, bats and a few other species can be assisted around most US homes. Lizards, lemurs, monkeys and marsupials might be found in your neck of the woods. Planting diversely but also densely helps as well as banding together with neighbors to create corridors of plants. Don’t forget water. Even man-made water features can supply the need. And get this – leaving unraked piles of leaves in the fall can be a nesting site! Woo-hoo, one less chore in the autumn.
Though this isn’t a huge book, it’s packed with useful information, charts, diagrams, and gorgeous photos. The information can be adapted for many geographic locations, garden sizes, and weather conditions. No matter how large or small a space, it can be converted to be a pollinator friendly space. B