Pollinator Gardens

The Madison Community Garden has a perennial flower garden for the purpose of attracting pollinating insects. The pollinator garden is made up of three garden beds and is straight ahead as you walk through the garden gates.

There is increasing evidence that pollinating insects are on the decline, which in turn can reduce crop yields. As a result, there has been interest in planting pollinator gardens which can provide a diversity of pollen and nectar for insects. Birds such as hummingbirds and goldfinches also benefit from these gardens. 

Photos: Stephen McAuliffe

Pollinator Plants at Madison Community Garden

Common Name
Scientific Name
Bloom Period  Height Flower Color Native
Shasta Daisy
Leucanthemum x superbum
July - September 24" - 36" White Native
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium purpureum
August - September 48" - 84" Purple Native
Bee Balm
July - August 36" - 48" Red Native
Blue Flag Iris
Iris versicolor
May - June 24" - 36" Blue Purple Native
Yellow Primrose
Oenothera fruticose L.
June 18" - 24" Yellow Native
Pink Showy Primrose
Oenothera speciosa
June - July 12" - 24" Pink Not Native 
(Native to SW US/Mexico)
New Jersey Tea
Ceanothus americanus
July - August 24" - 36" White Native
Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
June - August 36" - 60" Purple Native
New England Aster
Aster novae-angliae
September - October 36" - 60" Purple Native
Blue Baptista
Baptisia australis
May - June 36" - 48" Blue Native
Common Yarrow
Achillea millefolium L.
June - September 24" - 36" White/Red Native
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
S. spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’
July - September 20" - 24" Pink/Orange Not Native 
(Native to Eurasia)
Salvia pratensis
June - August 12" - 36" Purple Not Native 
(Native to Europe / W. Asia / N. Africa)
Anise Hyssop
Agastache foeniculum
June - August 24" - 48" Purple Native
Black Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
July - September 24" - 48" Purple Native
Coreopsis grandiflora
June - September 18" - 24" Yellow Native
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis
July - September 24" - 48" Red Native
Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
June - August 24" - 60" Purplish Pink Native
Hardy Geranium
Geranium maculatum
May - June 12" - 18" Pink Native
Thank you to Mary Ellen Kapalo for assembling the information in this chart.

Tips for Planning a Pollinator Garden

  • Include some native plants, which will attract more pollinators, and will successfully thrive in our climate and soil. Many native plants are becoming less common in the wild as invasive plants take over; by planting natives you will be helping the environment.
  • Use different flower colors and shapes to attract different species.
  • Avoid modern hybrids and plants with “double flowers”. As plant breeders are creating plant varieties with a showier flower, pollen and nectar are often sacrificed.
  • Use plants with different bloom times, which will ensure a long season of blooming, to provide pollen and nectar all season. For example, Asters are a native plant that produces flowers in October, when most other plants have stopped blooming.
  • Consider including milkweed as it is the sole food source of Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. 
  • Installing favorable breeding spots for native pollinators will help to keep them in the garden.