March 26, 2012

Bring on the Bees!

I've been lobbying for-ev-er to put flowers in the garden. To grow something, anything, we don't actually have to eat. Why do I have to lobby? We've got limited space and so far, it's all been used to grow vegetables. All vegetables, all the time. 

But when spring arrived a few weeks ago, and the brassicas bolted, we noticed something wonderful happening in our backyard—something that was missing last year. 

See the bees?

Bolted and blooming broccoli plants.

They came, in multitudes, and were happily feasting on the broccoli blooms. It pained me to have to pull the broccoli plants to make way for the summer garden, but so goes the life of the backyard farmer.
See the bee?
Bees and butterflies—anything that pollinates—are wonderful bugs to have in your garden. They keep the ecosystem up and running and ensure that all the plants are happily pollinated.

Brussels sprouts and broccoli at the end of the season. Goodbye, brassicas...
Knowing how important these bees are, we are now planning a flowering herb garden. It will be a less structured, more colorful, sometimes edible, butterfly- and bee-attracting space with plants in every size, shape, and color.

I am so excited to get this new garden under way. Now that we have the summer veggies started, we can start work on this new bed. It's going to be in the backyard, and it will serve a double purpose: disguising the air conditioning unit. Aren't we clever!

We'll plant chamomile, lavender, rosemary, purple coneflower, and more. I hope to keep some perennials in the bed, and scatter annuals around that will change with the seasons: zinnias, poppies, ranunculus, and more.

What do you think we should plant in our flowering garden?

The baby pear tree boasts lovely blooms.


Beth said...

Purple coneflower is one of my all time favorites! Mexican Honeysuckle is one hardy shrub - it's already blooming with it's beautiful orange flowers. Blackfoot daisy, Mexican bush sage, Mexican oregano . . . they all bloom beautifully and can tolerate little water a high heat. So fun! Enjoy your ornamental plantings!

ditz929 said...

On this post and the last one, your photos were scrunched down where I can't see them. In the reader and on the actual blog page. Anyone else having this problem?

Sustainable Diet said...

@Beth, I will have to try Mexican Honeysuckle—does it smell amazing too? Will definitely refer to your list here.

@Ditz929, it appears all's well on my end; what browser are you using? I'll do some troubleshooting; so sorry about the problemo!

Claire Jain said...

Milkweed is a great host plant for butterflies. We had one come up from self-seeding, and it has a monarch caterpillar on it. A neighbor with several milkweed plants had about a dozen caterpillars that I saw this morning!