Last year Drumore Estate was certified as both a Certified Butterfly Garden from the North American Butterfly Association and a Pollinator Friendly Garden from Penn State Extension Master Gardeners. We are proud and excited to be helpful in thoughtfully growing plants and using cultural practices which are beneficial to these essential categories of insects.
Most people love to see delicate butterflies fluttering through the air during the summer months. To attract and help increase butterfly populations a garden must provide both host plants and nectar sources. Host plants are ones which feed the voracious appetites’ of the growing larvae, or caterpillars; many species of butterflies have only specific species of plants they will lay their eggs on to feed the larvae after they hatch. Nectar sources come from flowers which the adult butterflies visit for their food source, and there are flowers from specific plants which produce more nectar and appeal to butterflies more than others. We were excited to see that last year Drumore observed over 25 different species of butterflies that visited our gardens.
Pollinators consist of many different species of flies, bees, wasps and other small insects as well as butterflies. Pollinators are responsible for transferring pollen grains between different flowers of the same plant species to ensure pollination occurs so fruit will develop. To receive this certification Drumore had to provide both specific food plants and water source, nesting sites and use good cultural practices including minimal use of harmful pesticides. It is estimated that one of every three bites of food people consume is dependent on pollinators so it’s important to help boost pollinator populations however we can!
Drumore has flowering plants throughout the gardens which provide food and nectar sources as well as varied native shrubs and trees which are important host plants in the surrounding woodland and outer ground areas. A pollinator garden emphasizing native flowering plants has also been established to especially help these much needed insects. Some of the perennials we are growing include bee balms, black eyed susan, asters, liatris, penstemons, purple coneflower, joe pye weed, ironweed and various milkweeds. A few annuals that are quite attractive to pollinators and butterflies are also planted such as salvias, zinnias and verbenas. As an added bonus we also attract hummingbirds to our flower gardens. You never know what might be fluttering or buzzing around the gardens at Drumore on the day of your special event!