Early Blooming Natives.
Most of the flowering native plants that grow in eastern US butterfly gardens and pollinator gardens trend towards late season blooming. The timing aligns locally perfectly with the Saratoga annual racetrack season. The horses race from July through September. And that’s exactly when area native gardens in sunny spaces are blowing up with a spectacle of color, beauty and life motion.
One strategy for providing native floral food for bees in spring is to plant native flowering shrubs. All of our native species fruit bearing shrubs blossom in spring, some of them putting on quite a display. Same story for native fruit trees. Even an innocuous native tree like a Red Maple can provide high quality early season bee food. Maple trees make something like a “flower” and these “bloom” months earlier than most native perennials.
Early blooming natives are found in abundance in the woodland garden section. There are classic native plants for shade gardens like Trillium and Mayapple. But the rarer early blooming natives that thrive in sun are pretty sweet to have all around in your sun garden. You’ll have very happy bumblebees early in the year. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a unicorn “switch-hitter” between the shade garden and sun garden.
If you love native plants and want to discuss a design/build project with the Jessecology team, we’d love to meet you! Fill out our customer intake form and we’ll be in touch soon.