Late Fall 2023 Snapshots From Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Garden

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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.

In late fall (mid-October through early December) we can still have dozens of species still in bloom in the pollinator garden and it’s a time when the asters, native grasses, and dried seedheads really shine.
We let all the plants stand through the winter to provide benefits to wildlife. See my article on Fall Chores in the Pollinator Garden for why we leave the leaves and save the stems in the fall and what are good chores to focus on.

Click here for links to all the seasonal photo collections.

common checkered skipper on Georgia aster

Common checkered-skipper on Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Georgia aster with blanketflower

Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum) and Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Black swallowtail caterpillar on golden alexander

Black swallowtail caterpillar on its native host plant, golden alexander (Zizia aurea). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Splitbeard bluestem grass

Splitbeard bluestem (Andropogon ternarius) with eastern silvery aster (Symphyotrichum concolor). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Aromatic aster with bluestar

Fall color on bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) foliage and aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium). Photo by Debbie Roos.

American lady butterfly on aromatic aster

American lady nectaring on aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium). Photo by Debbie Roos.

White cultivar of seashore mallow

White-flowered cultivar of seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica ‘Immaculate’). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Dried seedheads of lemon bee balm and splitbeard bluestem

Seedheads of lemon beebalm (Monarda citriodora) and splitbeard bluestem grass (Andropogon ternarius). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Fuzzy seedheads of splitbeard bluestem grass in front of wild quinine seedheads.

Fuzzy seedheads of splitbeard bluestem grass (Andropogon ternarius) in front of wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Aromatic aster with narrowleaf silkgrass

Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) with narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia) and purple passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Passionflower vine tendril around splitbeard bluestem grass.

Passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata) tendril around splitbeard bluestem grass (Andropogon ternarius). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Texas ageratum and beeblossom

Palm-leaf mistflower (Conoclinium greggii) and beeblossom (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Belleza Dark Pink’). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Arching stems of seedheads of late figwort

Arching stems of seedheads of late figwort (Scrophularia marilandica). Photo by Debbie Roos.

American lady nectaring on climbing aster bloom

American lady nectaring on climbing aster bloom (Ampelaster carolinianus). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Bumble bee on climbing aster.

Bumble bee on climbing aster (Ampelaster carolinianus). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Dispersing seeds of butterfly weed.

Dispersing seeds of butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Wild quinine seedheads.

Seedheads of wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Fiery skipper on Georgia aster.

Fiery skipper on Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum). Photo by Debbie Roos.

Female green lynx spider protecting her nest of spiderlings on aster

Female green lynx spider protecting her nest of spiderlings on American clasping aster (Symphyotrichum patens). Photo by Debbie Roos.

'September Ruby' aster

New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘September Ruby’). Photo by Debbie Roos.