If you do not currently have native plants growing in your garden, it might be time to consider adding them. Plants that are native to your local habitat are more likely to survive local variations in temperature and precipitation than those plants that are native to other areas of the country (or world). Because these plants are better adapted they require less maintenance than non-native species - less mulching, watering etc.
For instance, look at this rainfall data from the National Weather Service.
The first map shows precipitation data from the last 30 days. Mt. Pleasant, MI (starred on the map) has received a total of 2.33 inches of precipitation during that time. However, 0.98 inches of that came during a single day (June 27th). Only 0.83 inches has fallen since July 1st - monthly average for July in Mt. Pleasant is 2.87 inches.
|30 day precipitation amount for period ending July 18th, 2013|
|14 day precipation totals for period ending July 18th, 2013|
So what is currently blooming in the garden right now?
|Bee Balm/Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) with an unidentified Skipper|
|Pale Indian Plantain (Cacalia atriplicifolia)|
|Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)|
|Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)-right and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) - left|
|Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)|
|Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) - a remnant from when birdfeeders were located in this garden|
|Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)|
|Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)|
|Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)|
|Lance-leaf/Sand Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)|
|Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)|
|Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)|
|Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)|
|Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)|
Remember these plants have not been watered at all in over 2 years. They are adapted to their environment and being native plants to Michigan they have co-evolved with the native insects that can be found here. They are all either host plants or nectar plants for native insects or both. At any given time during the blooming season dozens of pollinators can be found throughout this native garden.