How Can Gardens Help Pollinators?
You may have heard that our bees and other pollinating insects are in trouble. The good news is that you can help by making your garden pollinator friendly. Every garden, no matter its size, can be a haven for hungry pollinators.
Download our new set of pollinator friendly garden guidelines, “Gardens: Actions to Help Pollinators,” to find out how you can help save our bees in your very own garden:
Aimed for: everyone! Actions are suggested for small, medium, large or community gardens, and for gardeners of all skill levels.
Features of our Garden Guidelines:
- 20 low or no cost pollinator friendly actions you can take in your garden
- Guidelines for how your garden can achieve GOLD pollinator status
- Pollinator friendly garden planting suggestions for every season
- A ONE PAGE, printable pollinator friendly guide that can be given to estates managers
- Lots of pictures of pollinator friendly gardens
Have you taken any pollinator friendly actions in your garden? If so, log them on our online mapping system, Actions for Pollinators, to help track the build-up of food and shelter in our landscape (Instructions for logging a garden).
5 Examples of Pollinator Friendly Actions for Gardens
1. Let the Dandelions Bloom! (Action 2): Even though we’ve grown to dislike Dandelions, they provide vital food for pollinators, especially in early spring when little else is flowering in our gardens.
2. Leave a strip of long grass (Action 4): The most cost-effective way to help pollinators is to reduce how often you cut your grass. This allows wildflowers to flower amongst the longer grass. You don’t have to let your whole lawn go wild; instead leave a strip of long grass along a fence or hedgerow.
3. Plant a pollinator friendly window box (Action 6): Many of the plants often planted in window boxes (e.g. Geraniums, Begonias, Petunias) are of little value to pollinators. Try mixing in some pollinator friendly plants that do well in containers. See our guidelines for planting suggestions!
4. Eliminate pesticide use (Actions 12-14): Pesticides can harm pollinators directly or indirectly by reducing the amount of available food (flowers).
5. Share with the next generation (Action 16): Download the Junior Version of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (link below) to get the whole family involved!
IMPORTANT: When taking action for pollinators, only plant native wildflower seed collected and grown in Ireland. Do NOT plant invasive species.
Other Pollinator Plan Resources for Gardeners
- All-Ireland Junior Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 (11MB): Download the Junior Pollinator Plan to get the whole family involved.
- All-Ireland Junior Pollinator Plan 2015-2020- IRISH VERSION (10MB): An Irish language version of the Junior Pollinator Plan is also available, so that this resource can be used and enjoyed in all schools throughout the island. Huge thanks to Pól Mac Cana for translating the Junior Plan into Irish for us.
- How-to-Guide 1: Creating Wild Pollinator Nesting Habitat: If you are thinking of buying or making a bee hotel, download this document first to make sure your nesting habitat is perfect for our bees!
- How-to-Guide 2: Collecting and Using Pollinator Friendly Wildflower Seed: If you want to increase the diversity of native wildflowers in your garden, download this guide on working with wildflower seed.
- How-to-Guide 3: Hedgerows for Pollinators: If you have hedgerows in your garden, download this How-to-Guide to find out how to manage them for pollinators.
- Presentation on Garden Guidelines from the Pollinator Plan: This presentation introduces the Garden Guidelines and describes the 20 actions you can take to make your garden pollinators friendly. Please feel free to use/deliver this at local levels to promote the Garden Guidelines. If you do deliver this talk please let us know so that we can track promotion email.
- Signage templates: We have an A3 signage template that can be used anywhere you are managing land for pollinators. Download the template and if desired add the logos of your organisation and/or sponsors. There are two versions of the template (available in PDF and JPEG format):
NOTES FOR USING SIGNAGE TEMPLATES: If using these signage templates in the Republic of Ireland, the bilingual version has been deemed compliant by An Coimisinéir Teanga with the Regulations made under the Official Languages Act. If adding text or logos there is no requirement to translate the name of a private company or organization and logos are also exempted (however translation of straplines is usually required). Care should be used when displaying a Public Body’s name on signage to ensure that it is in compliance with the language Regulations.