Early spring through late autumn, flowers of every color, size and shape make their appearance. Some stay all season, others show off for a few weeks. All of them do however, bring beauty, color, bugs and birds to our gardens. The flowers showcased here are spring arrivals.
Flowers provide nectar and pollen for many animals and insects to eat. They also provide shelter for some insects.
As for nectar, hummingbirds, bees, wasps, hornets and butterflies all enjoy the nectar as well as ants and aphids.
Ants and aphids eat the nectar too but are not beneficial to the flower; they will eventually do extensive damage to flowers if let untreated. The best way to stop aphids are to find some ladybugs and treat them to a picnic of aphids. Birds will take care of the ants.
Pollen itself is eaten by insects and some animals.*
Now hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, etc. all pollinate the flowers through the process of pollen sticking to their undersides. As these useful beings fly from flower to flower, they transfer the pollen to the other flowers, pollinating.
Spiders may make their homes inside flowers to stay out of the rain and catch their food easier. Spiders too eat pests that plague flowers so you want spiders in your garden. (Just not in my house.)
Look at the intricacies of each flower. They behold beauty like no other plant can. Every color of the rainbow is represented in the broad spectrum of flowers.
Enjoy the flower season; it’s just getting started. Stay tuned for further posts when the summer flowers come out.
*From the picture book by Shennen Barsani, ‘ACHOO! Why Pollen Counts’. Published by Arbordale Publishing.