The sixth edition of Michelle Obama's White House Kitchen Garden, planted on the South Lawn earlier this month, is now a bit more friendly to the insects we rely upon to pollinate our crops.
The First Lady announced the addition of the first-ever "White House Pollinator Garden," a plot designed to not only assist the more than 70,000 bees that make up the White House honeybee hive, but also butterflies, moths, and other insects that contribute to pollination.
"We're going to plant all kinds of flowers that attract bees and butterflies - which is not really going to make the Obama girls happy, because they don't like bees - but bees are good," Mrs. Obama explained to local students and FoodCorps leaders.
Pollinator gardens are generally composed of a variety native plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Plants such as aster, sunflower, lavender, yarrow, borage, and fennel are all great examples of attractive species. Keeping everything organic and free of pesticides is also key.
"Another suggestion is when selecting your plants, to remember that native bees tend to be attracted to flowers that are blue, purple, and yellow," shares Claire Cassel of the Fish and Wildlife Service. "Hummingbirds on the other hand, are attracted to red flowers. Butterflies are attracted to a wide range of colors. And plants that flower at night such as gourds and evening glories will attract a variety of moths with their white blooms and in some cases sweet fragrance."
Check out the First Lady working with kids and volunteers on the latest Kitchen Garden below.