We hope you find this information practical and useful, and invite you to make a contribution to support our work with a donation of any size.
This is why we do what we do.
Our new friend Jon sent us this note after taking the time to watch an early video (2011) by Dr. Doug Tallamy about the importance of native plants. Thank you very much, Jon, for writing the note and allowing us to share it!
"Thanks for alerting me to the Doug Tallamy video. Prior to seeing it I never understood so many people's focus on and advocacy for native plants. I'm almost embarrassed that I didn't know about native plants' (versus non-natives) critical functions in our ecosystem and why they are so absolutely essential. I'm surprised that the information in this short video (let alone so much more) isn't more fully known by more people. Because this video is so clear, I think it could strike others as it struck me. Thanks for the education!"
These two articles are required reading for anyone who cares about pollinators.
Search the internet for additional information about this critical and world-changing
decline of almost all insects, and the birds and wildlife that depend on them.
* What’s Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters
Printed lists of many of the Resources provided below can be accessed here:
"Pollination services are an 'agricultural input' that ensure the production of crops. All farmers, especially family farmers and smallholders around the world, benefit from these services. Improving pollinator density and diversity has a direct positive impact on crop yields, consequently promoting food and nutrition security."
- José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO)
Gardens and Pollinator Plants
What is pollination, and why do we care? This little booklet from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden, answers these questions and more.
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. With plant lists for different areas of the country and great publications, this organization is a premier resource about all things pollinator.
Some of their books we like:
Every garden helps our pollinators! Here's an easy way to Create a Pollinator Garden.
We invite you to visit Our Gardens, either in person or virtually!
Below you will find a selection of nurseries and sources of information about pollinators and pollinator plants in and for the Rogue Valley (let us know others to include!)
Local Nurseries, Plant and Seed Sources, and Demonstration Gardens
Shooting Star Nursery, Central Point
Plant Oregon, Talent
Goodwin Creek Gardens, Williams
Forestfarm at Pacifica, Williams
North Mountain Park Nature Center, Ashland
Herb Garden Plant List (pollinators love flowering herbs!)
Jackson County Master Gardeners, Central Point
Great Articles from Agencies
Oregon Department of Forestry
USDA / Natural Resources Conservation Services
USDA Forest Service
So Many Videos, So Little Time!
Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware, is changing hearts, minds, and landscapes across the country. Watch this video of his excellent presentation to the California Native Plant Society - just one of his amazing talks about the importance of native plants. Ready for more? We recommend both of his world-changing books: Bringing Nature Home and Nature's Best Hope. Learn more about Doug here.
We encourage you to watch this important video Decolonizing Bees. Many thanks to Brian Dykstra for this chock-full presentation that critically examines why the 20,000+ native bees, and not the European honey bee, should be in the forefront of our minds while acting locally and thinking globally. This exploration of bee relationships with Indigenous communities will deconstruct "the matrix" and foster greater appreciation for diversity, inclusion and resiliency of both native bees and native cultures.
Here's a link to a dozen (!) videos from the Jackson County Master Gardeners Association Virtual 2021 Native Garden Tour, as well as a great list of resources for learning more about growing native plants in your garden and where to find them.
We are very pleased and honored to have our Main Street garden featured on the Tour! Enjoy!
Continuing with their online education, the Jackson County Master Gardeners Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium was a virtual event this year. Kristina Lefever was honored to share the story of the transformation of our Main Street garden in her presentation
Imagine you are given the worst piece of ground to create a garden – hot, dry, south facing, along a sidewalk, and busy road. What would you do? Why not make a beautiful garden, and make a statement at the same time! Join Kristina Lefever of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley as she shares the transition of the garden over the last two years – the plants, the pollinators, and the people.
Have you checked out PPRV's YouTube channel for videos about our gardens, the pollinators, and more!
Lists, Articles, and Important Resources!
Here is our list of Rogue Valley nurseries which do not use neonicotinoids! Please support these nurseries - and let us know of other nurseries and garden centers which should be included.
Looking for native plants? (yes!?) Here is our updated list of local nurseries
and online sources for obtaining native plants.
We are often asked for 'the' list of plants for pollinators. That's not as easy as it sounds, as illustrated by the many lists on just this one page! But really, this list of Top 20 Host Plants created by our friend Lynn Kunstman from the work of Doug Tallamy, comes pretty close. These trees, shrubs, and forbs, of varying sizes and bloom times, are the foods for the caterpillars of the butterflies and moths we all want to see in our yard. And of course, most of these plants also provide pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinators.
This is one of our favorite lists of Plants for Pollinators, organized by season.
Bee sure to check out this document from Pollinator Partnership - it's chock full of information about pollinators and native plants for our region.
Here's a beautiful list of native pollinator plants which flourish here in the Rogue Valley.
Bee City USA's Recommended Planting Guide will help you choose the best plants for your bio-region to support your local pollinators.
The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity is an excellent and inspiring book for creating pollinator-friendly spaces, with lots of plant lists.
Wild Bee Gardens "is an educational tool showing the dazzling diversity of North America's native bees." The iPhone and iPad app pairs native bees with many of the flowers they frequent.
This short article shares the many benefits of creating a polyculture garden.
Love Thy Pollineighbor: Seven Practical Tips for Going Wild with Habitat offers a lot
of great information that will help your outdoor space become pollinator friendly in no time.
What about bulbs? Yes, there are beautiful natives that will help support pollinators and other insects. Check out pages 28-36 of this issue of the NW Native Plant Journal for great pictures and information about some of the best bulbs for our native landscapes.
Everyone needs this list of Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects.
Can plants actually be allies during wildfires? Yes! In addition to supporting pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, many native plant species are appropriate for firewise landscaping. You'll want to watch Native Plants for Firewise Landscaping, an OSU Land Stewards webinar more than once.
Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Who are the pollinators?
Check out our Pollinator Pages to learn more!
We are grateful to the Xerces Society, who answers that question better than anyone!
A pollinator garden must offer more than just flowering plants that provide pollen and nectar. Butterfly and moth caterpillars require certain plants to eat, and many insects look for plants to overwinter in, on, or under. Birds eat these insects, and other critters, tiny to large, are a part of the whole. Wondering how many species might be supported by the plants growing in your landscape? Check out this list of native plants - and be amazed!
Wondering which bumble bee is which? Thanks to our friends at Vesper Meadow, we now have the Bumble Bees of Southwest Oregon, an ultra-local identification guide!
Want more bumble bees in your landscape? This comprehensive article from Xerces tells you how a year-round plan can help make that happen.
Have you seen this great little booklet about some of the Common Bee Pollinators of Oregon, from the Oregon Bee Project?
How to Attract Orchard Mason Bees to your Garden - Learn all about orchard mason bees from this OSU Master Gardener 10-Minute University™ Class.
In the U.S. there are about 4,000 species of bees. This very informative video, Mason Bees vs. Honey Bees, explains the buzz about these 2 managed species.
Did you know that 70% of native bee species nest in the ground? Watch this very informative video from the University of Minnesota about where and how one of the species, the mining bees, nest. When you know what to look for, you will be in a better position to protect and avoid disturbing nesting sites.
Love hummers? This article will help you attract hummingbirds to your garden!
We like this article from OSU Extension about Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Garden.
This resource - Beneficial Insects, Spiders, and Other Mini-Creatures in Your Garden - from Washington State University Extension, with color pictures, is one of the best!
Is it a bee? No, it's a hoverfly! Enjoy this great article about this lovely insect and the plants it likes. In addition to being a great pollinator, the larvae is a great aphid eater! Grow some white sweet alyssum to invite hoverflies into your garden and landscape.
Gasp - Wasps!? Yes, please welcome wasps into your garden and landscape! Not only are they voracious predators of pests, they also pollinate plants! This very interesting article explains why stinging wasps are precious, not pointless.
Wait, Flies?? Yup, they too are excellent pollinators for many food crops! Enjoy - if you can - this article about the somewhat yucky research to determine the best pollinating fly species.
Did you know that Most Bugs are Good Bugs?
Although written for farmers, this is great information for everyone about Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects.
A Changing World
This December 2022 article from Rueters, "The Collapse of Insects," is worth reading. Short and to the point, the article provides excellent graphics and statistics to help us understand the critical point the world is in.... assuming we want to have food to eat, mountains to climb, flowers to smell, and nature and wildlife to enjoy. Although most insects are not pollinators, it seems that beetles, butterflies, wasps, bees, flies, and moths are all included in the bottom rung of the food chain.
Pesticides and Solutions
Read Center for Food Safety's Pesticides and Pollinators fact sheet for a summary of the dangers systemic pesticides called neonicotinoids pose to pollinators.
Beyond Toxics is working to Save Oregon's Bees through education and legislative action.
This Products Compatible with Organic Landscape Management website provided by Beyond Pesticides is a great resource for better solutions to toxic insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides works to protect those who are most vulnerable from harm caused by pesticides, while also striving to educate and help identify healthier, more ecologically sound solutions to common pest issues.
White House Fact Sheet on Declining Pollinator Populations - "Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators—including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies—from the environment. The problem is serious and poses a significant challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impacts on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment."