The Pollinator Victory Garden is Available Now!
Get Kim Eierman’s new book The Pollinator Victory Garden.
Learn how to win the war on pollinator decline with ecological gardening.
Buy now to save our challenged pollinators!
The passion and urgency that inspired WWI and WWII Victory Gardens is needed today to meet another threat to our food supply and our environment—the steep decline of pollinators. The Pollinator Victory Garden offers practical solutions for winning the war against the demise of these essential animals.
Pollinators are critical to our food supply and responsible for the pollination of the vast majority of all flowering plants on our planet. Pollinators include not just bees, but many different types of animals, including insects and mammals. Beetles, bats, birds, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps can be pollinators.
But, many pollinators are in trouble, and the reality is that most of our landscapes have little to offer them. Our residential and commercial landscapes are filled with vast green pollinator deserts, better known as lawns. These monotonous green expanses are ecological wastelands for bees and other pollinators.
With The Pollinator Victory Garden, you can give pollinators a fighting chance. Learn how to transition your landscape into a pollinator haven by creating a habitat that includes pollinator nutrition, larval host plants for butterflies and moths, and areas for egg laying, nesting, sheltering, overwintering, resting, and warming. Find a wealth of information to support pollinators while improving the environment around you:
- The importance of pollinators and the specific threats to their survival
- How to provide food for pollinators using native perennials, trees, and shrubs that bloom in succession
- Detailed profiles of the major pollinator types and how to attract and support each one
- Tips for creating and growing a Pollinator Victory Garden, including site assessment, planning, and planting goals
- Project ideas like pollinator islands, enriched landscape edges, revamped foundation plantings, meadowscapes, and other pollinator-friendly lawn alternatives
The time is right for a new gardening movement. Every yard, community garden, rooftop, porch, patio, commercial, and municipal landscape can help to win the war against pollinator decline with The Pollinator Victory Garden.
Review from The American Gardener (American Horticultural Society) (Sept/Oct)
Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating this to my clients is not always easy. Kim Eierman’s book has given me the base knowledge and language I need to convey the message effectively — as well as inspiration to encourage greater advocacy. As she notes, “You don’t have to be an entomologist to realize that pollinators are in trouble, and you don’t have to be a professional landscaper or horticulturist to do something about it.”
The Pollinator Victory Garden increases our horticultural vocabulary by detailing the close-knit relationships of pollinators and plants. I learned that the buzz pollination techniques of native bumblebees on blueberries “creates twice as much fruit as honeybee pollinations.” I discovered that puddling describes a behavior of butterflies (mostly male) gathering salts from wet, stony ground and may help increase viability of future caterpillars. And floral balance is having a wide diversity of plants in sufficient quantities to support the pollen and nectar needs of pollinators so they may successfully reproduce.
Basic inventory charts in this well-researched guide consider succession and overlap of blooms; what types of flowers attract which species of pollinator; and which trees and shrubs are valuable for supporting pollinator reproduction and nectaring. We also learn how to make a sample host plant checklist for specific butterflies. While butterflies usually get the most attention, the author reminds us to not to forget nocturnal pollinators such as moths. The appendix includes lots of references for furthering our knowledge about gardening for pollinators.
Habitat considerations must be integral in designing gardens that support our native pollinators, and all of us can help. Where space is limited, even a native plant in a pot will add to the resources they need. As Eierman puts it, “A native flower is never more beautiful than when it’s graced by a nectaring pollinator.”
Review from Horticulture Magazine (Jan/Feb 2020)
Horticulturist, landscape designer and educator Kim Eierman outlines how certain changes and additions to any garden can make it more supportive of pollinators, be they bees, bats, beetles or birds. This book provides an in-depth education of how pollination works and what pollinators need to thrive, and then translates that information into actionable steps to take in the garden. Following the main chapters of The Pollinator Victory Garden is a valuable appendix that distills much of Eierman’s advice into checklists and plant lists. Bulleted lists and sidebars throughout the book take its practical value even further. All told this is a very handy manual for anyone interested in combatting pollinator decline by starting at home.
Review from The Northern Gardener - Minnesota State Horticulture Society (February 2020)
Kim Eierman, founder of EcoBeneficial, explains the need to plant for pollinators in the context of victory gardens in her new book The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening (Quarry Books, 2020).
Victory gardens were the home-front food gardens planted during World War I and II to help with the war effort. Home gardeners raised an incredible amount of food—40 percent of the produce raised in 1944 was grown in home gardens. Eierman argues that the decline in pollinators and insects of all kinds is as grave as the world wars, given the threat to food production and ecosystems it presents. The book’s chapters each describe “essentials” of pollinator gardening—basic, useful information for designing a pollinator garden and planting for pollinators in all their phases of lives.
Eierman covers how pollination works, why it is vital to the planet and which insects and animals are pollinators. She goes through basics of the many types of pollinators (beetles, bees, moths, butterflies and bats among others), habitat needs of pollinators, such as shelter, overwintering spots, water and food and gives guidelines for homeowners on ways to plant to attract pollinators. The book is an easy read and it’s filled with wonderful photos of pollinators and plants—many of them provided by Minnesota author Heather Holm.
Of particular use to northern gardeners is Eierman’s focus on creating overwintering habitats for pollinators. While some butterflies and moths migrate, many insects spend the winter snuggling into plant stems, hollow logs, under bark or underground. Being a “messy” gardener who keeps a brush pile and doesn’t cut down perennials in fall is a good thing for pollinators.
I also liked Eierman’s design suggestions for incorporating native plants from your region in your garden beds, planting lots of plants for a succession of bloom and focusing on trees and shrubs, which are vital to pollinators, especially in the larval stages. Her advice is solid and with large print, information broken up into easily absorbed sections and those gorgeous photos — this book is a great introduction to pollinator-forward gardening. It also would be a good book for a middle-school aged or above child who has an interest in the environment.
Review from The Connecticut Gardener (March/April 2020)
In case you haven't been paying attention, pollinators are in trouble. Their decline is due to a number of factors including loss of habitat, widespread use of pesticides, invasive plants, decreasing biodiversity and climate change. So what do you do if you're a concerned gardener? You create a garden/yard with plants, shrubs and trees that are attractive to pollinators.
(Kim) Eierman's concept of The Pollinator Victory Garden is similar to the Homegrown National Parks suggested by Doug Tallamy. The basic problem is the same. Most of our leaders and representatives ignore environmental issues so we have to, Minuteman style, take up the cause ourselves in our own front, back and side yards.
Eierman's approach is straightforward. She starts out with the basics of pollination and introduces us to the pollinators (bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths and wasps). Then she tells us how to plan and grow a Pollinator Victory Garden that provides pollinators with the habitat and food they need. The appendices are chock full of information including Early-Blooming Native Trees and Shrubs for Bees, Native Flowering Plants for Native Pollinators, Native Flowering Plants for Honey Bees and Native Flowering Plants for Hummingbirds.
Along the way Eierman touches on a broad range of issues: lawn reduction, pesticide use, straight species vs. cultivars, pollinator tongue length, plants to avoid, containers, meadows and pollinator pathways - to name just a few. She provides all the advice and information you'll need to get started on your own pollinator project.
The Pollinator Victory Garden Endorsements
“If everyone followed Kim Eierman’s advice, our pollinator crisis would be solved. Her detailed, compassionate book provides actionable steps for helping not only much-loved garden visitors like butterflies and bees but also the less appreciated beetles, flies and other pollinating creatures. It can be difficult to write about their diverse needs in a clear and comprehensive way, but Kim has done exactly that in this must-have guide. Her well-written, beautifully illustrated book is a call to action: if creating a victory food garden for humans was a patriotic act during World War II, then creating a victory garden for pollinators is an equally important citizen duty today.”
– Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife
"Leave it to Kim Eierman to come up with a unique call to action - one that worked in the past when our society was threatened by war, and one that will work again to defeat the very real threat of pollinator declines. Kim has thought of everything with a truly comprehensive guide to improving the lot of our pollinators at home. Make a Pollinator Victory Garden and join the effort to save our most essential creatures!"
– Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, co-author of The Living Landscape, and professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware.
“The Pollinator Victory Garden is a book for these times. Kim Eierman empowers readers with ideas, direction and the inspiration they need to create beautiful and eco-friendly habitats for many different pollinators. Creating healthy, diverse and chemical free habitats are essential steps in solving pollinator decline and The Pollinator Victory Garden guides you towards creating your own lovely garden habitat.”
– Peter Nelson, Director of The Pollinators, filmmaker and beekeeper
“God knows pollinators need every edge we can give them — and this book will tell you precisely how to use your patch of land, however small, to make a real difference!”
– Bill McKibben, author, educator, environmentalist and co-founder 350.org
“With so many pollinator species at risk around the globe, The Pollinator Victory Garden could not be more timely. Please put this thoughtful, easy-to-read book to use in making your own yard a haven for pollinators.”
– Phyllis Stiles, Founder, Bee City USA®
Read this book as if your life depended on it — and it does: No pollinators = no plants = no people. Kim Eierman turns the table on the dismaying facts about pollinators by offering positive steps each of us can take to make a difference. Her passion shouts: “gimme a V…” — or, more aptly “gimme a Bee.”
– Carol Capobianco, Director, The Native Plant Center