Gardeners are proud of their gardens for a host of different reasons.
Some gardeners spend a great deal of time blending or contrasting color schemes. Others love creating secret rooms or impressive hardscaping. But if you’re a gardener that spends just as much time watching the creatures that pollinate your garden as planting the flowers that attract them – and you’re crazyproud of the diversity of species flying around at any one time – you may be interested in giving that garden a bit of official recognition.
With a new certification program coming out of our county extension offices, you can.
If you just read the words ‘certification program,’ instinctively substituted ‘complicated’ and began to rustle the newspaper in preparation for a page turn, I can assure you, there is no math involved. Frederick County Master Gardeners have made the process pain-free and pleasurable. If you’re already enjoying a garden filled with pollinators you’re probably one short step away from a colorful, official sign telling your neighbors why you plant the way you do.
And some of us have neighbors that would really like to know.
The Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification was created by the Frederick County Master Gardener Pollinator Committee in response to growing awareness of the importance of pollinators to our landscapes. It does not replace the state-wide Bay-Wise certification, but enhances it, guiding gardeners towards specific lists of flowering plants and pollinator supporting practices.
Official certifications such as this one or Bay-Wise are not meant to single out gardens and their attendant gardeners for greatness, but to share the news with others and encourage them to think about the many ways that our gardens can bring nature in and support the life-cycles of many of our invertebrate guests.
In my last garden, I applied for and received the Maryland state-wide Bay-Wise Certification which seeks to acknowledge gardens that strive for a smart balance between a beautiful landscape and beautiful waterways. A small blue sign was posted just outside…
[If you’re not in Frederick County, MD (I live across the river in Loudoun County, VA) and are interested in similar programs, contact your local cooperative extension office to see if they have a current program – they just might. You can find your extension office here. – MW]