Preparing for a Bee friendly garden

Look at the pollen on this guy

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.

https://plants.usda.gov/pollinators/Enhancing_Nest_Sites_For_Native_Bee_Crop_Pollinators.pdf

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 caerulea Blue Columbine L Spring
Aster laevis Smooth Aster L Summer
Aster tanacetifolius Prairie Aster L Summer
Clarkia pulchella Deerhorn Clarkia Summer
Cleome serrulata Rocky Mtn. Bee Plant Summer
Coreopsis tinctoria Plains Coreopsis L Summer
Erigeron speciosus Fleabane Daisy summer
Gaillardia aristata Gaillardia Summer
Gaillardia pulchella Indian Blanket Summer
Gilia capitata Globe Gilia Summer
Linum perenne lewisii Blue Flax L Spring
Oenothera pallida White Evening Primrose L Spring
Penstemon strictus Rocky Mtn. Penstemon Summer
Petalostemon purpurea Purple Prairie Clover Summer
Ratibida columnaris Yellow Prairie Coneflower Summer
Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan Summer
Viguleta multiflora Showy Goldeneye Summer

 

Purchased Separately

PERENNIALs
Penstemon strictus Rocky Mtn. Penstemon Summer
Monarda Bergamo Bee Balm Summer
Alcea Hollyhock (Peaches and Cream) Summer
Lupine Lupine (Sunrise) Summer
Linum perenne Blue Flax Late Spring
Gallardia aristana Blanket Flower Late Spring
Rudbeckia Hirta Black-Eyed Susan Summer
Echinacea purpea Purple Coneflower Summer
HERBS
Dill Summer
SUCCULENTS
Hens and Chicks
GRASS
Bouteloua Gracilis Blue Grama Grass
Pennisetum Alopecuroides Compressum Fountain Grass

 

Sites for more information

Bee friendly plants:

http://www.pollinator.org/

There is also an app to take your list to the garden center.  http://pollinator.org/beesmartapp.htm

Colorado Natives:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07242.html

https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/tips-for-growing-native-plants

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.

2 comments

    1. 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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