Outdoor spaces: A place for pollinators in Cheektowaga garden | Home & Garden

• The backyard gardens also include beds of peppers and several varieties of tomatoes (mixed in with zinnias, marigolds and herbs); a greenhouse; a bed in the center of the yard with more coneflowers, liatris and bee balm; potted plants (including sedum, coleus, pink salvia, canna lilies, micro dwarf tomatoes and wild petunias that reseed themselves); a pear tree, and multicolored hydrangea planted near a Black Lace elderberry, which has lacy pink flowers in the spring.

“I like everything in my garden to feed something – bees, hummingbirds and butterflies,” said Lobbins, a retired medical technologist.

That includes other garden visitors. “We have a bunny problem here. Last year they ate the marigolds,” she said, not really seeming to mind.

• Another backyard garden has a rectangular path going through it, covered in large pine bark nuggets. This garden is home to tall Rudbeckia, which is in the same family as black-eyed Susans. “They grow from nothing to 6 feet tall. They are trouble-free and don’t seem to get any diseases,” she said.

Lobbins also describes her cup plant, another tall yellow plant with daisylike flower heads. This native plant has leaves that join at the stem to form a cup that collects rainwater, from which butterflies, bees and hummingbirds can drink.

• The garden is home to many bees. In fact, mason bees and leaf-cutter bees actually have their own homes for nesting. Their houses hang on the back of the garage. Both are excellent pollinators. Mason bees use mud to construct their nests. Leaf-cutter bees use cut leaves.

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