Puschel Preserve Pollinator Garden Planting
Last week, Coastal Watch and the Native Landscapes & Garden Center welcomed volunteers for a morning of planting native plants in the pollinator garden at Puschel Preserve. Up until recently, this property was used as a Hurricane Ian staging site for debris. This planting event marks the first phase of Puschel Preserve’s restoration.
Volunteers spent their morning breaking ground on the wildflower portion of the pollinator garden. Here, you’ll find a variety of wildflowers that are good for all sorts of different pollinators – bees, butterflies, beetles, and more! Native species included rose milkweed, salvia, coreopsis, verbena, and porterweed.
Staff and volunteers planted both nectar plants and larval host plants. It takes more than nectar to entice butterflies to take up residence in your garden. While nectar-rich flowers attract passersby to stop and feed, host plants send an invitation to stay a while. Larval host plants are the secret to successful butterfly gardening; they are plants required by a caterpillar for growth and development.
Florida’s state wildflower is Coreopsis, also known as tickseed, and refers to all 12 species native to Florida. Many of these occur only in North Florida and the Panhandle. The most common species, Leavenworth’s tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii), is almost entirely endemic to Florida — its only other occurrences are in two Alabama counties. It attracts many pollinators and is eaten by rabbits.
For the next restoration phase, SCCF staff and volunteers will be planting a variety of trees and shrubs in the pollinator garden.
When fully rebuilt, the Puschel Preserve’s front acreage will showcase many additional wonderful features including a welcome plaza, walking/biking trail, sculpture garden, and demonstration marsh.