Magazine Articles

Creating a Pollinator Paradise

Put your DIY skills to use with one of these simple projects that will attract birds, bees and butterflies.

Lisa Bramen Journalist


Want to help pollinators? In addition to supporting The Nature Conservancy’s work protecting and restoring habitat, the best thing you can do is to make your home, school, workplace or neighborhood pollinator friendly. Whether you live in a city high-rise, a suburban cul-de-sac or on a farm, you can create an oasis of pollinator habitat.

Put your DIY skills to use with one of these simple projects that will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Before you know it, the oasis you’ve created will be abuzz with pollinator activity. 


Create a Four-Season Garden

Four-Season Garden

The more diverse your garden is, the more diverse pollinators it will attract. There is no single pollinator season, so plan your garden to have flowers appearing from spring through fall. 

Planting native flowers is just one step in creating a year-round haven for butterflies and bees. From first seedling to last snowfall, follow these tips for making your garden pollinator friendly. 

Explore DIY Tips RETURN

Create Islands of Habitat

Seed Bombs

seed balls do it yourself bee friendly pollinator gardening tip
Seedballs © Lisel Jane Ashlock

Make seed bombs by rolling up ping- pong-sized balls of wildflower seeds, dirt and clay, then toss them in your back- yard, vacant lots or empty fields that are devoid of pollinator plants. The clay prevents birds from eating the seeds, and the dirt helps them germinate.

Pollinators Opener
Pollinator illustrations © Lisel Jane Ashlock

Read the accompanying magazine feature

"Planting for Pollinators," written by Lisa Bramen and illustrated by Lisel Jane Ashlock, explores native pollinators and the growing threats they face.

Read the article here

Flower Boxes

flower box garden box do it yourself bee friendly pollinator gardening tip
Flowerbox © Lisel Jane Ashlock

Use recycled materials like pallets or old containers to make an attractive flower box that will support pollinators even in an urban setting. 


Bee a Good Neighbor

Bee Blocks and Varied Nesting Areas

bee houses and native bee habitat do it yourself pollinator garden
Beehouses © Lisel Jane Ashlock

A block of untreated wood with holes of varying sizes drilled in it invites a variety of boring bees to move in. Burrowing bees need patches of dirt that are clear from debris and leaves. Other ground-nesting bees build their homes in leaf litter. 


Moth Mania

moth banana bottle of beer and spoonful of brown sugar for moth friendly paste
Moth Paste © Lisel Jane Ashlock

Attract moths with a paste of beer, brown sugar and overripe banana, then smear it on a tree trunk. But keep the sugary treats away from your house, as they may attract ants. 


Avian Oasis

Build a Hummingbird Bath

hummingbirds playing and bathing in a birdbath
Hummingbird Bath © Lisel Jane Ashlock

Any shallow container, such as a sheet pan, can be fitted with a burbling fountain to make an inviting spot for hummingbirds to drink and bathe. Add red accents and place the bath near a perch.

Lisa Bramen is a journalist in New York's Adirondack Mountains. She is a senior editor at Adirondack Life magazine and a co-author of the Explorer's Guide Adirondacks (Eighth Edition).