Pollinator garden opens at Coastal Alabama campus in Fairhope

Gardeners hope to inspire, help bees with new public space

By Allison Marlow
Managing Editor
allisonm@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/6/22

Planners of the new pollinator garden at Coastal Alabama's campus in Fairhope hope that bees, butterflies and people flutter by for a look and a short stay.The Baldwin County Master Gardeners program …

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Pollinator garden opens at Coastal Alabama campus in Fairhope

Gardeners hope to inspire, help bees with new public space

Posted

Planners of the new pollinator garden at Coastal Alabama's campus in Fairhope hope that bees, butterflies and people flutter by for a look and a short stay.
The Baldwin County Master Gardeners program has maintained the greenhouse at Coastal Alabama's Fairhope campus since the horticulture program was shuttered at the location several years ago.
This spring, volunteers worked to place a pollinator garden across from the campus' Dahlgren Hall. There bees, butterflies and moths are drawn to the brightly colored native plants that fuel them through the summer months.
Mary Calvin, vice president of the Master Gardeners and coordinator of the college greenhouse, said planners hope passersby will enjoy the garden and be inspired to create their own.
"We have a shortage of bees and we're trying to give them food to keep them coming around," Calvin said. "Most of what we eat has to be pollinated so we want to help them eat."

In particular, the Master Gardeners want to inspire others to grow native plants which best feed the insets.
"Gardeners love to bring in exotic plants but we want to show that plants grown here are beautiful too," Calvin said.
Calvin said local insects don't recognize so-called alien plants brought in from other regions.
"I have a beautiful tropical plant with large flowers and there are no bees on it. But the yarrow, that is local, they are all over it. They literally don't know or recognize the other plant," she said.
The campus garden also includes a small fountain and a stone cross.
All of the plants were grown in the greenhouse on the Coastal Campus. Calvin said gardeners can receive help with their own gardens and ask gardening questions by contacting the Master Gardeners help line at 877-252-GROW (4769).

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