Pollinator Garden

Bayberry Garden – a Native Pollinator Pathway

Previously a patch of grass and weeds, the Bayberry traffic island is now a pollinator garden and part of the Northeast Pollinator Pathway. Native shrubs and wildflowers planted here provide food and shelter for the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds that summer in New York.

Pollinators are declining worldwide, posing a threat to both agriculture and our natural environments. This traffic island is intended to serve as a demonstration garden of wildflowers Bayberry residents might grow on their own property. 

How was the garden created?

In the summer of 2022, the grass was smothered with layers of newspapers and several inches of topsoil.  After a few weeks, the grass died off and the soil was suitable for planting. Young campers from Bayberry Summer Camp helped in the design and installation of the plants.

The patch is protected from browsing deer, rabbits, and groundhogs with a fence. When necessary, the plants are watered using a soaker hose on a timer.

Since these plants are perennials, they can be expected to die back in the fall and return each year in the spring. In the fall, leaves are left in place and serve as a mulch to help protect and nourish the overwintering plants. The stalks and plant matter remains over the winter to serve as homes for hibernating insects.

In the spring, when the weather warms, weeds are removed and the dead stalks are cut away to make way for new growth.

Plant Selection

This garden’s plant selection ensures that there is always something in bloom to provide continuous supply of nourishment for pollinators. The larger plants are located near the center of the island and the smaller plants are positioned near the outer edge.

Refer to the #s on the white plant labels to identify the plants by their common and scientific name as well as their flower color, mature height and blooming period.

To guarantee success in selecting only native plants, refer to the species or scientific name.*

Plants listed by label # in the Garden

Common Name
Species name
1Golden AlexanderZizia aurea2′ – 3′goldMay – June
2Blue StarAmsonia Tabernaemontana2′ – 3′blueMay – June
3Foxglove BeardtonguePenstemon digitalis3′ – 5′whiteMay – July
4TickseedCoreopsis verticillata1′ – 3′yellowJune – Aug
5Garden PhloxPhlox maculata2′ – 3′purpleJune – Aug
6Butterflyweed (Milkweed)Asclepias tuberosa1′ – 3′orangeJune – Aug
7Blackeyed SusanRudbeckia hirta2′ – 3′yellowJune – Sept
8Swamp MilkweedAsclepias incarnata2′ – 4′pinkJune – Sept
9BeebalmMonarda didyma3′ – 4′redJune – Sept
10Cardinal flowerLobelia cardinalis3′ – 6′redJuly – Sept
11Wild BergamotMonarda fistulosa3′ – 6′redJuly – Sept
12Mountain MintPycnanthenum tenuifolium1′ – 3′whiteJuly – Sept
13ConeflowerEchinacea purperea2′ – 5′purpleJuly – Sept
14Dense blazing starLiatris spicata3′ – 4′purpleJuly – Sept
15Joe-pye WeedEutrochium dubium5′ – 8′purpleJuly – Oct
16Bayberry BushMyrica pensylvanica5′ – 10′yellowJuly – Oct
17New England AsterSymphyotrichum novae-angliae4′ – 8′purpleAug – Oct

What to watch for:

  • Black Swallowtail butterfly and its caterpillar feed on Golden Alexander (#1)
  • Milkweed (#6) is the host plant for the monarch butterfly
  • From July through September, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be seen buzzing around Cardinal Flower (#10), Beebalm (#9) and Blue Star (#2)
  • In the winter, birds such as goldfinches, cardinals, chickadees and sparrows feed on the seeds of Coneflower (#13), Joe-pye Weed (#15), Black-eyed Susan (#7), and Coreopsis Tickseed (#4).

Ways you can support the Bayberry Pollinator Garden?

  • Look for planting, weeding and cleanup days.
  • Plant a collection of native plants in your own yard, like what has been planted here, or refer to this useful list by the Xerces Society.

*Many of the plants installed in this garden were purchased at Hilltop Hanover Farm, which offers native plants for sale and educational courses on native plants.