Planting Flowers for the Bees is high on my current list of gardening goals. Bees are such an important element in the garden and it wasn’t until I really started trying to grow my own food that I realised just how important they are! Previously, although, I knew they were important for pollination, I had mixed feelings towards bees because my dad is deadly allergic. One Bee sting will quickly send him into anaphylactic shock and growing up this was such a scary reality. Today, I continue to learn more and more about bees and I am amazed at how incredible they really are.
Trying to grow food without pollinators can be hard and sometimes impossible without intervention. If you have ever tried growing pumpkin or watermelon you will understand what I mean! It is so important that we try and look out for our bee friends and provide them with healthy, organic, pesticide-free gardens. I am constantly planting flowers for the bees and also letting things go to seed, so there is always an abundance of flowers and bees in my garden.
Having water available for the bees is also another great idea, especially in Perth’s warm climate. If you have a bird bath you can place a flat rock in it so that the bees can stop by for a drink. Below are some of the plants that I grow and the Bees love!
Top 5 Flowers for the Bees
1. Rosemary – This is my number one plant for the bees. There is always a hive of activity on my rosemary plant and I love seeing so many bees in my garden. Of course, it is a staple in the kitchen as well!
2. Borage – Bees love borage flowers and they are so pretty and edible too! They are usually blue, pink or white but often you get this fantastic tie-dye effect!
3. Lavender – is such a great fragrant addition to the garden and you can make natural perfumes, beauty products and it is also edible! Lavender is so easy to grow from cuttings so you can just cut off a stalk and plant it in other areas of your garden or pot up and give as a gift to your family and friends.
4. Sunflowers – These have to be one of my favourite flowers! The bees love them and they are an absolute show stopper in the garden. Sunflowers are also known to be soil remediators and extract any toxins in the soil.
5. Zinnia – I am new to growing zinnia but I absolutely love them! They come in so many amazing colours (even green!) and the flowers are also edible! These are now a much-loved staple in my garden. I even grew them down the side of a fence with very poor soil and they thrived.
Bonus – The other thing I do let some of my veggies go to seed. Diversity in the garden is important and you will see different types of bees like different flowers. Radish flowers for example, always attract our native Blue Banded bees which are amazing to watch! Having a diversity of plants and insects in your garden will help create a thriving ecosystem.
Take the time to slow down and observe your garden and you will start to recognise which flowers are attracting beneficial insects. You may even find some you have never seen before! Most weekends I have my morning coffee in the garden and just spend some time observing without any distractions. We are often so busy trying to do something that we lose sight of all the little things going on.
This weekend I challenge you to give it a go! Make a coffee and spend just 10 minutes or so sitting in the garden or nature and observe. And if you can plant some more Flowers for the Bees.
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