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In late 2008, I planted a demonstration pollinator garden at Chatham Mills to provide forage from early spring to late fall for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, butterflies, flower flies, hummingbirds, beetles, and other beneficial insects. The garden features over 225 unique species of perennials, 85% of which are native to North Carolina. The garden is a great teaching tool that I use to conduct workshops and tours for hundreds of folks each year. It has taught me so much and I enjoy sharing this knowledge with others. Below you can see photos of the pollinator garden from mid-July through mid-September. There was an average of 80 species in bloom each week during this two month period of late summer!
American lady butterfly on whorled tickseed. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Tiny Carolina anole perched on a passionflower leaf. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Early instar caterpillar of the silver spotted skipper on native groundnut vine. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Green-head coneflower, spurred butterfly pea, and eastern horsemint. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Zabulon skipper on spurred butterfly pea vine. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Gravid Argiope garden spider on passionflower leaf. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Monarch caterpillar on common milkweed. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Katydid wasp on yellow passionflower. The bloom of this native vine is smaller than a quarter but attracts many different pollinators. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Passionflower bee collecting pollen on yellow passionflower vine. This uncommon bee is a solitary ground-nesting native bee that only collects pollen from a single plant species, in this case the yellow passionflower. For more photos and details about the passionflower bee, visit go.ncsu.edu/passion-bee. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Hummingbird moth nectaring on native field thistle. Thistle is a pollinator powerhouse! Photo by Debbie Roos.
Eastern tiger swallowtail with monarch nectaring on native field thistle. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Stemless ironweed with small’s goldenrod. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Honey bee collecting pure white pollen of ironweed. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Rattlesnake master with obedient plant and switchgrass. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Assassin bug feeding on leafhopper on velvet mallow. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Crab spider on great blue lobelia. Photo by Debbie Roos.
‘David’ garden phlox. Photo by Debbie Roos.
‘Tiger Eyes’ staghorn sumac, ‘Flamethrower’ redbud, and blazing star. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Monarch on blazing star. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Freshly molted monarch caterpillar with its shed exoskeleton behind it. A caterpillar molts five times before becoming a butterfly. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Monarch chrysalis on aster. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Late summer pollinator bed. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Golden-reined digger wasps on mountain mint. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Camouflaged looper on field thistle. These tiny inchworms attach pieces of the flowers they are feeding on to their backs to blend in with the plant. For more photos and details about the camouflaged looper, visit go.ncsu.edu/camo-looper. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Gray hairstreak on green-head coneflower. Photo by Debbie Roos.
American snout butterflies on mountain mint. Photo by Debbie Roos.
Gravid green lynx spider on mountain mint. She will form an egg sac very soon! Photo by Debbie Roos.