Wit's End Gardens Seeks to Educate Marketgoers on Flowers for Pollinators
Wit’s End Gardens Owner Jana Erickson specializes in perennials for pollinators like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and moths. She is passionate about educating people on host plants, or plants where a moth or butterfly lays its egg because pollinators will come back year after year if they know there is shelter and a place to lay eggs. The Greater Des Moines (DSM) business has been selling plants for around nine years, and Erickson enjoys spending time figuring out which flowers customers might consider for their gardens.
The idea for Wit’s End Gardens began with Erickson’s love of flowers as a young girl. She used to ask her own mother about when she could have her own garden. After a long career in advertising, Erickson decided to start selling plants online and as an occasional vendor at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. As Wit’s End grew, she decided to leave advertising and focus solely on her business, shipping more than 6,000 plants a year across the country, mostly in the spring. Occasionally, she’ll also help install and design gardens locally.
Erickson speaks at local garden clubs and other events within the DSM community. She also makes sure to educate online about seasonal options for pollinators and visits with customers about a multitude of topics related to perennials for pollinators. Many customers are looking for options that they may not find at other garden centers, and Wit’s End puts a lot of effort into finding unique varieties.
What Wit’s End Offers
The flowers at Wit’s End Gardens all come in CowPots, compostable cow manure pots that are biodegradable and environmentally responsible. The whole pot can go in the ground, leading to the roots pushing through the side of the pot where it continues to grow. This is thanks to the best thing you can give a plant: manure. CowPots are renewable and sustainable. All plants also come with a metal ID marker, so the customer knows what the plant is. For gardeners, these metal markers are helpful, especially if you’re not completely familiar with the plant you’re planting. The plastic tags can break and fade, making it difficult to know what you’ve planted later. The metal markers ensure you know what you’ve planted and where. Lastly, the flowers at Wit’s End Gardens are neonicotinoid-free, making them healthy for pollinators. Find out about having a pollinator-friendly garden and what you can do to ensure your own garden is free of neonicotinoids.
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