Pollinator Plants at River Berry Farm

Logo-NEPP-1_2_2016Look for our new enterprise:

Northeast Pollinator Plants

 http://www.northeastpollinator.com is a web-based regional storefront offering pollinator perennials to the New England and New York states with deliveries June through September.  While spreading the word about pollinator gardens in talks throughout the region, Jane was often stumped for an answer when folks would ask, “where can we get these plants?”.  After some reflection, she decided, well someone has to do this.  Hopefully there will be many local native plant nurseries springing up in our region, until then, we’re happy to fill the niche.


Populations of pollinators like native bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles and hummingbirds and the non-native European honeybee are in decline. Researchers are studying the causes and determining pesticides with fragmentation and loss of habitat are the prime suspects.  Much more research is needed to verify the losses and causes.

We’re lucky in Vermont that we still have lots of good habitat, but we need to be diligent to not lose what we have as more land becomes developed.

Meanwhile we can all pitch in to help.  With more of the land being domesticated, it is up to us domesticators to plant the right stuff and help support these critical pollinators.

Jane is passionate about garden design for enhancing pollinator habitat and is determined to help gardeners make plant and design choices by providing information and plants at River Berry Farm.

Some Pollinator Garden Guidelines:

FOOD:  An ideal pollinator garden would include at least nine native flowering perennial species; selecting three species that flower early, three mid and three late plus some native grasses for nesting.  It is best to plant in large swaths of at least six of each species for efficient foraging.  Add native trees and shrubs to extend the flowering times.  View our nifty spreadsheets below for a partial list of great plants for pollinators for our eco-region.

SHELTER:  Leave some nearby bare loose, undisturbed soil for ground nesters and nice pithy or hollow stemmed shrubs like elderberry, sumac or raspberries for wood/cavity nesters.  Add human-made nesting boxes only if you will be diligent about maintaining these, cleaning thoroughly yearly to avoid adding more disease issues for our already stressed pollinators.

WATER:  Ensure access to clean shallow water by planting some cup-shaped leave plants or carefully maintaining a shallow bird bath.  No chlorinated water please.

Pollinator Plants

The following charts shows some of the pollinator plants by type,  mostly native to Vermont, listed in order of flowering time so you can ensure you have at least three species flowering at a time.  Many of these are available at River Berry Farm.  Our selection changes yearly.

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Screen shot 2015-06-19 at 7.31.06 AMPollinator You-Tubes

Disappearing” on a TED broadcast.  Very informative and worth the watch:

Here is Marla Spivak, a pollinator expert from the University of Minnesota, presenting “Why are Bees

Why bees are disappearing | Video on TED.com

Watch this beautiful segment of Louie Schwartzberg’s “Wing’s of Life, produced by Disneynature taken from a TED broadcast:

River Berry Farm and a class taught by Jane at UVM have been featured in two episodes of Across the Fence.  Click on these links to view:

13 Research at UVM on Pollinators and Perennials – UVM Extension’s ‘Across the Fence’ -

What We Can Do on UVM Extension’s ‘Across The Fence’ – YouTube

Kim Eierman of EcoBeneficial visited River Berry Farm and created these pieces:






Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation:  http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/

Pollinator Partnership:   http://www.pollinator.org/

National Academy of Sciences., Status of Pollinators in North America, 2007, can download, pdf.  http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11761

Natural Resource Conservation Service, NRCS.  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/

 Grass-Roots Individuals:

Beatriz Moisset  http://pollinators.blogspot.com/

Carole Sevilla Brown  http://www.ecosystemgardening.com/

Heather Holm  http://www.restoringthelandscape.com/

Ellen Sousa  http://blog.thbfarm.com/

Kim Eierman  http://www.ecobeneficial.com/