Today we are tooting the horn of pollinator expert, Laura Jarvis, of The Butterfly Landing, in blatant attempts to get you to come to our class! Whether you carve out a special patio garden at your apartment, or plant a plot in your landscape, the more pollinator plants that we can offer our local wildlife the better our world will be.

Pollinator garden at the butterfly landing.
Laura's backyard

Pollinator Gardening

The next time you are driving around the city, try to notice the extra lanes of highway and the rubble filled medians, the wall to wall shopping centers and fast food restaurants that seem to pop up overnight. While the convenience of being able to scoot around 281 with less traffic or grab a last minute dinner makes things easy for us, it comes at a pretty steep price that is being paid for by our local pollinators.

It’s a fact that the habitats of our local bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, etc… are going away; being taken away, actually. This fact is one of the main reasons that Laura Jarvis of The Butterfly Landing is on a mission to help educate as many people as she can about not only the importance of pollinator gardens, but also how to be successful in creating and maintaining them.

We can talk all we want about the reasons for creating pollinator gardens, but the truth is, if you don’t know where to start, or how to cultivate the garden once you have it, you’ll either get discouraged or feel like it’s a waste of time. This is why Laura feels that education must be made a huge priority and why she readily agrees to teaching classes at Rainbow Gardens. She also educates through her business Facebook page about what’s happening in real time in her butterfly gardens at The Butterfly Landing.

The Butterfly Landing grows host and nectar plants for our local wildlife and specializes in those hard-to-find native species. Besides educating the public about the importance of these plants, Laura also thrives on making them available to more and more home gardeners.

Pollinator garden at the butterfly landing.
Pollinator garden at The Butterfly Landing
Laura offers timely gardening tips like giving you a heads up for when to seed or transplant particular plants, what plants to buy and why, and shares gorgeous pictures of her “babies” (butterfly caterpillars and mature butterflies) enjoying their favorite host and nectar plants. Laura Jarvis is a big advocate for no pesticides in the garden when your goal is a pollinator habitat. She even creates her own mosquito repellent with essential oils to wear in her gardens to eliminate the risk of her plants being contaminated. She loves to share how beneficial insects can do the dirty work of pest control for you. Check out this video she captured of ladybugs in her greenhouse!

Laura is a proponent of being a great observer in the garden. She attributes much of her success to her years of hands on experience; literally hands on! You’ll often find her with a wayward caterpillar in her hand, gently transporting it to a food source. The undersides of the leaves of her plants are inspected daily to look for butterfly eggs. When she’s planted a different variety of a host species, Laura watches diligently to see whether the butterflies seek it out to lay their offspring, or if they will turn up their proboscis at it! She knows, from years of experience, what plants reliably return in spring and which need to be planted yearly. When Laura provided us with a pollinator “start list”, we knew the plants on this list would be reliable performers in our area.

Laura with a butterfly in her pollinator garden.
Caterpillar on leaf
In keeping with Laura Jarvis’s philosophy of prioritizing education for pollinator gardening success, our upcoming Pollinator Gardening 101 class will focus on: where to begin in the first place, what plants to start with, what conditions those particular plants like, how to organize your garden into the ideal pollinator habitat, and how to take care of it for a lasting pollinator oasis.

Basically, Laura Jarvis knows her stuff! We are blessed to have her sharing her knowledge with anyone who seeks it out. You can also find her in our butterfly garden at our Bandera location on most Saturdays from 11-4. We encourage you to check if there are still tickets available to out Pollinator Gardening 101 class May 11th. You won’t go home disappointed!

Laura Jarvis in her pollinator garden.

(Photos courtesy The Butterfly Landing)

“A world without bees and butterflies, would be a tragic one.” ~Laura Jarvis

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy