Create a Bee and Butterfly Friendly Pallet Garden

by Fern on July 26, 2011

in Birds Bees & Butterflies

Post image for Create a Bee and Butterfly Friendly Pallet Garden

I recently had an immense amount of fun talking about growing food in urban spaces and attracting birds, bees, and butterflies at Eat Real Fest in Los Angeles. For part of my demonstration, I created a special wildlife-friendly pallet garden with plants donated by Proven Winners. I think it turned out really cool!

If you’d like to make a pallet garden designed to provide nectar and pollen for hummingbirds, butterflies, and honeybees (which are all important pollinators for edible plants), here are the plants I used:

Ageratum ‘Artist Purple’ (Floss Flower)

Ageratum is a really neat and unusual looking flower. The small flowers look like fuzzy buttons and are held in clusters practically covering the plant. It is a great plant to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Specifically, Soldier Butterflies, Monarchs, Queens, Fritillaries, among others. Not to mention that bees will be sure to stop by.

Lantana ‘Luscious Lemonade’

Lantana is such a great plant. There is pretty much no amount of heat that is too much for them. They are also pretty drought tolerant. And those are just lantana’s practical aspects. Lantana also smells nice, and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Petunia ‘ Supertunia Citrus’

Supertunias don’t ask for much. Give them water and fertilizer and they will provide waves of happy flowers that butterflies and even hummingbirds enjoy visiting.

Cleome ‘Spirit’ (Appleblossom)

These delicate, pink and white flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They add height and elegant beauty to a wildlife garden.


Zinnias are a great plant for attracting bees. Their flowers lustily display their pollen and nectar in the center of brightly colored flowers.


If you’d like to arrange your plants exactly as I did, this is a rough sketch (emphasis on “rough”) of the placement of plants in the pallet:

If you’d like detailed instructions on how to prepare and plant the pallet, refer to these instructions.

* * * * *

Many thanks to Proven Winners for donating the plants for this project. To read more about my product donation/review policy, click here.

PrintFriendly and PDF

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ellen July 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Nice Fern!


Steve Asbell July 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I especially love the supertunias! Proven Winners has such a great variety of petunias that do well in my warm Florida climate… I especially like their “Pretty Much Picasso” myself. The pallet garden looks superb by the way.


Fern July 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Supertunias are a fav of mine too!

Dalia Soto July 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Steve, I live in Orlando, Florida. Thank you for the “heads up!” I will look for the supertunias and Pretty Much Picasso, too.

Jennifer July 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Cute pix, Fern, and great ideas!


april ruffner July 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

You have so many unique tips and ideas! Thank you! We follow your updates in Twitter. Love, April and Jacque


Fern July 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Thanks! Glad you like LOTB.

Barbara July 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

That’s really great! I love the use of the pallet. And the chocice of flowers too! The lantanas take me back to my childhood summer holidays in the Algarve, south of Portugal. There were lantanas everywhere!


Fern July 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I was kind of bummed that so many of the lantana flowers were ripped off by the wind on the way over. Though they will regrow quickly.

Sam @ SmilingGardener July 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Beautiful flowers! I’m sure the bees and butterflies can’t resist those lovely flowers. Thanks for sharing your ideas here, I really appreciate it.


macon callicott July 31, 2011 at 5:29 am

Fern (you’re kidding, right?)

Take a look at the Roman “hortus”, from whence all kitchen gardens came. The Latin is obvious, and there is little written about them; I found a small private publication of a thesis or dissertation from a Tulane grad student.
My point is that given your skill and interest, it shouldn’t be hard to tie your work back to the classic expression of your work. I am not sure of the state of the Roman economy, but intuition tells me that our situations are very similar, albeit a couple of thousand years apart.


Fern August 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

No, I’m not kidding about my name. The rest of your comment doesn’t make any sense to me. Could you explain why you’re talking about Latin meanings of botanical words, Tulane grad student theses, and the economy of ancient empires?

Robin Horton/Urban Gardens October 12, 2011 at 7:59 am

Loving that Floss Flower! This is a great addition to your earlier fabulous and famous Pallet Garden post. I’d love to see how this could work indoors too. Thanks for another great share!


LaNita November 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Hello! Any advice for attracting wildlife to a fully shaded balcony garden in Phoenix AZ? Any ideas would be great! Thank you in advance :)


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: