January is a great time to make plans for the coming year. Buy a notebook for a journal and use it to keep all your pollinator gardening information. List the plants growing in your habitat. Include the name of seed companies, plant name, variety, planting date and flower date. During the growing season keep notes on how well the plants do and if there are any issues. All this information will be helpful when you are ready to add new plants. I also enjoy visiting other gardens to get ideas. The Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium have beautiful butterfly gardens.
Lists! I need lists to help me with my plans for the new year. My favorite list is what plants am I going to add to the pollinator habitat. Annual flowers, perennials, herbs, fruit trees and vegetables are all great additions to a habitat. It is also important to consider bloom time. Early blooming plants are just as important as summer and fall bloomers. If you need help with plant selection, a good list to start with is the Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program. This plant list has plants that bloom from March to October and are well suited for Nebraska.
The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program has a new website:
It is October in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. Last night the habitat hosted the 4-H Horticulture club. The youth and their parents toured the habitat and learned about the solitary bee house and insect hotel. The youth started their nature journaling project by spending time observing everything around them and recording what they saw. They finished up the evening making solitary bee houses to place in their home landscapes next year.
The Master Gardeners visited the habitat today to help prune back the wild that grew over the summer. They pruned some of the plant material so the bench, picnic table and pathways are more accessible.
The habitat looks wonderful and is showing fall color. The tall cottonwood always leads the way with its golden leaves.
This year I want to keep a journal of the insects, animals and blooming plants I see in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. There are many ways to keep a nature or field journal. It can be easy as a note book and pencil. You may decide to sketch or use watercolors to paint what you see. Try to make an entry at least once a week and have a much detail as possible. Make a list of animals or insects in your habitat, what plants are coming up or blooming, what the weather is like or when you see the first queen bumble bee. Keep track of the first tree frog call or cicada. Plan to spend some time in your habitat just observing. When the weather is a little warmer, sit outside and just watch. It is amazing what you see.
Keep your journal near the door or by your garden shoes, so you remember to grab it as you go out the door. Take pictures and use them to identify what insects and plants you see. I keep a journal each year for my home gardens and pollinator habitat. I like to look back at past years to see when the snowdrops bloomed or saw the first monarch for the year. This is a fun project for kids too. It is a great way to get them outside and see nature around them.