With the new Avalon Pollinator Garden in Armacost Park (71st and Ocean Drive) as the backdrop, Pat Sutton (educator, author, and long-time wildlife gardener) will cover how a more natural garden is a healthier garden to pollinators and gives the gardener a wonderful excuse to be a wee bit lazy and instead spend the time watching and documenting all the garden insect and bird visitors. Spent seed heads like Purple Coneflower, native sunflowers, and many others attract and feed hungry birds. Fallen seeds produce additional native plants in the garden, so mulch becomes less and less necessary as the garden ends up being mulched by plants themselves! Learn that leaving a garden standing all winter long is part of the plan. Next year’s butterflies and moths are in the overwintering vegetation: as eggs on curled up leaves, or as chrysalids or pupa on stems or under the fallen leaf layer. You WANT fallen leaves; they act as a blanket to overwintering beneficial insects, and they eventually decompose and enrich your garden naturally. A healthy pollinator garden uses NO INSECTICIDES, NO HERBICIDES, NO COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS, NO LEAF BLOWERS, NO DEADHEADING, NO INVASIVE PLANTS, and no unnecessary tidying up for tidy sake, because all that would make the garden a death trap to the very insects you are trying to attract. This event is co-sponsored by the Avalon Environmental Commission and the Avalon Free Public Library. Rain date July 14.

The Pollinator Garden is locacted on the northwest corner of Armacoast Park.