Leaves and flowers of many herbs that we grow in our gardens attract winged wildlife. The most important garden pollinators: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will find herbs both delicious and alluring. A diverse herb collection will help them to find in your garden nectar, pollen and larvae food source. Also avoid using chemicals in your garden.
If you already have some herbs in your garden and want to add some more to attract wildlife, here is a combination of herbs for each type of winged wildlife that you might determine to visit your place.
Bees are a sign of a healthy garden, so seeing them buzzing busily from flower to flower in your garden is a good sign. They gather nectar for their honey and the same time they spread pollen and pollinate our garden plants. The herbs that bees love most include borage, chamomile, germander, hyssop, lavender, basil, lemon balm, bee balm, anise hyssop, mints, sage, savory, rosemary and thyme. They prefer flowers from sunny locations. Also they will navigate easier on single flowers as double-flower plants are harder to sip from.
Butterflies are colorful, ephemeral and joyful creatures and they are always a welcoming presence in our gardens. These delicate creatures are attracted by a variety of flowering annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. They like to sip the nectar from herbs like mint, catmint, marjoram, chives and thyme. As you can see, butterflies and herbs prefer the same conditions. Sunny spots in places without too much wind are their favorite places.
If you want to have butterflies in your herb garden you will have to consider their whole life cycle. Butterflies life start as a larva – a caterpillar, so you must accept them in your garden if you want to enjoy the following butterflies. Learn to identify them before you destroy any caterpillars.
In warmer areas you will be able to see hummingbirds in your garden. They dine on the nectar of many flowering herbs. Their long beaks are best suited for tubular-shaped flowers like the ones of pineapple sage, mint, hyssop, lavender and bee balm. They also prefer the red color, so try to offer them red-blooming varieties of bee balm and pineapple sage. There are also some other herbs that will attract hummingbirds to your garden: anise hyssop, catnip, comfrey and rosemary.