Preparing for a Bee friendly garden

A garden that draws pollinators usually begins with wonderful flowers full of food.  To take it even further,  providing sheltering opportunities for bees close to the food sources allows female bees to expend less energy foraging, saving energy for the care of their young.

Native Bee Habitat

Most north american bee species shelter in the ground in looser, well drained soils.  Allowing access to the soil in a sunny area of your yard that is not tilled and isn’t mowed until late winter provides a good space for burrowing solitary bees.  Most of these bees do not sting, and are great for your garden vegetables.  While planting my pollinator garden up popped the biggest bumble bee from under my hand.  It lazily wandered off.

Look at the pollen on this guy

Seeds for Purchase

I chose to purchase the High Country Gardens Western Native Mix due to cost concern of the 1 pound mix found earlier.  This is a 1/4 pound, much more than i can use in my garden.  Many are annuals so early sowing will be required to see what comes up.  I planned to sow seeds outdoors in early April, but trying to get my soil prepped proved very tough – 6″+ of rock and counting!

Below are the contents:

Aquilegia caeruleaBlue ColumbineL Spring
Aster laevisSmooth AsterL Summer
Aster tanacetifoliusPrairie AsterL Summer
Clarkia pulchellaDeerhorn ClarkiaSummer
Cleome serrulataRocky Mtn. Bee PlantSummer
Coreopsis tinctoriaPlains CoreopsisL Summer
Erigeron speciosusFleabane Daisysummer
Gaillardia aristataGaillardiaSummer
Gaillardia pulchellaIndian BlanketSummer
Gilia capitataGlobe GiliaSummer
Linum perenne lewisiiBlue FlaxL Spring
Oenothera pallidaWhite Evening PrimroseL Spring
Penstemon strictusRocky Mtn. PenstemonSummer
Petalostemon purpureaPurple Prairie CloverSummer
Ratibida columnarisYellow Prairie ConeflowerSummer
Rudbeckia hirtaBlack-eyed SusanSummer
Viguleta multifloraShowy GoldeneyeSummer


Purchased Separately

Penstemon strictusRocky Mtn. PenstemonSummer
Monarda BergamoBee BalmSummer
AlceaHollyhock (Peaches and Cream)Summer
LupineLupine (Sunrise)Summer
Linum perenneBlue FlaxLate Spring
Gallardia aristanaBlanket FlowerLate Spring
Rudbeckia HirtaBlack-Eyed SusanSummer
Echinacea purpeaPurple ConeflowerSummer
Hens and Chicks
Bouteloua Gracilis Blue Grama Grass
Pennisetum Alopecuroides CompressumFountain Grass


Sites for more information

Bee friendly plants:

There is also an app to take your list to the garden center.

Colorado Natives:

2 thoughts on “Preparing for a Bee friendly garden

    • I’ve been leaving too early for work to see the bees on my catmint! But I had a gorgeous bumblebee keeping me company while I cleaned up a bed yesterday, so close I almost squished him! The hubby put too much garden soil in the bed I am going to use for my native plants, now I’m digging it out 🙂 I will have big arms on the farm this year.

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