It's time to show gardening wildlife some love. Join over a million others who took this challenge to plant for pollinators.

By Jenny Krane
May 13, 2019

May is Gardening for Wildlife Month, and it’s a time to recognize all of the creatures that contribute to our natural world, especially in the garden. That means hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinating insects that help flowers to bloom and fruit and vegetable plants to grow the food we put on our tables. Not only should you cater your garden to helping these amazing creatures, but you should also help to spread awareness of the integral part they have in the gardening world.

Now is the perfect time to take on the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The National Pollinator Garden Network started this ongoing challenge in 2015 as an effort to encourage gardeners to think of the pollinators when planting. The pollinator populations have plummeted in the last two decades, but our natural world needs pollinators to survive and thrive.

All you need is at least three pollinator-friendly plants to register your garden. By 2018, the challenge reached its initial goal of over one million registered gardens across the country. More than eight million people planted pollinator plants, which resulted in five million acres of pollinator habitat. Now, that’s amazing!

Related: The 7 Essential Elements of a Monarch Butterfly Garden

The registered gardens all appear on an interactive map that shows exactly where the gardens are located. Although they have reached their goal of one million, there are many gaps on the map that need to be filled in order to restore pollinator populations in every area. Backyard gardens count as much as prairies full of wildflowers, so let everyone see what you are doing for the pollinators.

Here at Better Homes & Gardens, we are proud to have our Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden registered as a pollinator garden. One of the few registered gardens in the Des Moines area, we hope our status inspires others to plant for pollinators and help restore the pollinator populations.

Pollinator Plants in the Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden

The Test Garden is in full bloom all summer long, full of hundreds of plants that are tended to regularly. The garden is open to the public on Fridays from noon to 2 p.m., May through October. Experience some of our favorite pollinator plants below in person.

Pollinators are the key to successful edible gardening, and we need them to keep our gardens blooming. While we need them in our gardens, they also need us. We need to step in and help to restore their food supplies, eliminate harmful pesticides, and provide their natural habitat that we've interrupted in decades past. Join over a million others and start a registered pollinator garden.

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