Looking around my garden, while it certainly wasn’t a total sea of blooms and wildflowers, for a garden that was 7 months young it had a decent selection of flowers both for us and our local bees. I was actually pretty happy with how it was all shaping up. Some flowers had come and gone, some flowers were still to be planted when spring officially raised her head again, and somethings had been there since we began.
When we had first started ripping up agapanthus and gardenias (which is what this garden had solely had before us; alongside grass and crap soil) I had vehemently said, we shall not grow anything that doesn’t serve an eating purpose and is useful! While I still stand by that statement, I have added a little bit more flexibility to it. Kangaroo Paw and and Daisies have earned their positions in the sun and while we don’t eat them, they look gorgeous and are a great addition for our bees to choose from.
For the bees and other local beneficial pollinators my wild plans of having a year round selection of changing seasonal foraging options… well it’s actually shaping up quite well.
Here’s a list of some bee friendly (whether they are native stingless, solitary or honey bee) plants that have made their way into the garden or will be in the next month or so.
Alyssum– sweet scented, great for a ground cover.
Borage– you can also eat the slightly spiky leaves, just finely chop them first. Edible flowers, great for decorating and salads.
Blueberries– Hopefully they’ll turn into blueberries at some stage, they do seem to have a long flower stage, (this is their first year out of pots.)
Calendula– Not on the excellent end of the colour chart for bees but it has many other uses so I’d be mad not to include it.
Clover– Tiny soft scented flowers, loved by bees and adored by small hands.
Comfrey– It’s been lying fairly dormant in a corner of the yard, biding time for warmer weather ((I hope!) A good soil conditioner, great for compost and a medicinal plant.
Cornflower– Not yet planted but the seeds are ready to go, come warmer weather. Plant too early and the seeds won’t germinate in the cold wet soil.
Cosmos– these were such a joy over the warmer months, with so many flowers coming from a single plant. They also gave great shade to some of the more delicate vegetables.
Daisy– and oldy but a goody, and I can pretty much completely ignore them in terms of maintenance.
Dandelion– They grant wishes, don’t really make you wet the bed and are a super simple flower addition to your bee flowers.
Kangaroo Paw– a gorgeous Australian native that doesn’t require much attention at all.
Lavender– They happily sit in my “Mediterranean Corner”, sounds far more exotic than the dry corner where it cops the most sun.
Lupins– great green manure crop, where I was supposed to cut them down before they got to flower stage…nah, just couldn’t do it. I loved seeing bees on the flowers.
Marigold– again not at the good end of flower colour chart but still a favourite and easy to generate more seedlings, so they are here to stay.
Nasturtium– Good ground cover, will climb if you train it up and flowers look lovely for food decorating.
Rocket– My first rocket crop was a failure due to rubbish soil, I’ve learnt from it, can now grow great rocket and have let the rubbish crop go to flower so still creates a garden benefit.
Sunflowers– I haven’t planted these beauties yet as still a bit cool, but the seeds are good to go and I’m just a little bit excited about have 2.5 metre flowers within my garden.
Thai Basil and Holy Basil– I’ve got patches of both, and while not quite at the large bush stage, they are looking promising.
Yarrow– this beauty is doing wonderfully well, conditioning my soil, providing seasonal flowers and is a great medicinal garden addition.
Zinnia– currently not flowering due to winter but summer gave a wonderful crop which helped with shading some of my more vulnerable vegetables during the middle of the day heat. They were also remarkably easy to generate more seedlings with the dried flower heads.
If you are creating your own bee flower garden, do keep in mind, they can see the purple/blue coloured flowers the best, with red flowers being at the end of their scale. I’d say skip the red roses this year and head for the borage!
What plants do grow for the benefit of both you and your bees?
For more reading on bees and their colour preferences see here.
So many pretty and practical flowers Brydie! My favourites are borage and cosmos, they are both reliable and add welcome colour to my patch. You have remindered me to make some room for sunflowers this year too x
I think those two are up their with my favourites too Jane. The cosmos was absolutely gorgeous during the warmer months and the borage right now is like a freeway for bees. There is a lot to love right there!
I haven’t done the sunflowers before (thank you apartment city living) so am very excited for those to appear.)
Hi again Brydie, we grow perennial basil as the blue banded bees just love the flowers. Thanks for your suggestions. Our little stingless t c bees seem to have their own ideas and take off up and out of our yard, past anything we have planted for them. They always come back with their ‘saddlebags’ full so they have a source somewhere not too far away.
That’s reassuring though isn’t it Marilyn. Someone else’s garden is also providing the good stuff…or they might be secretly working in your garden when your back is turned 🙂
Wow, I didnt know that about the colours. Here sunflowers feature quite heavily , and i love watching their little legs getting all dusted up with pollen on those big sunflower circles.I have cornflower seedlings in the hot house at the moment….and nasturiums self seeding from last year are popping.Something wonderful about that bee buzzing sound that says you have created a living ecosystem in your backyard, isn’t there!
I adore the gentle smell of nasturtiums there is something…I don’t know almost calming about it. Love them.
I’m really excited for the sunflowers. I got the biggest kind of seeds I could, a subtle garden isn’t something I’m striving for.
Gorgeous images! And the post was just what I needed today as I’m begining to think about redoing a corner of my front garden. I will have to include some kangaroo paw and other bee loving flowers in the new design. I am keen to support the bees in my area as I’m pretty sure no one else is. Any advice on how to support bees in a coastal area? We’re 2km from beach and i worry this impacts on the bees.
hmm not sure on the coastal point Tamara. I would still think, plant it and they will come though.
Oh my goodness, you’ve got a beautiful range there. Very inspiring. A beautiful day here today, so it could be a good excuse for me to follow my inspiration from this and get into the garden!!! Thank you. Stunning photos … Again. 🙂
Yep get out there Brigitte, follow that inspiration if the time allows.
(and thank you for the kind words on the pictures.)
I’ve just been for a nice walk (and coffee) passing lots of nice gardens and now it’s time to get out and enjoy this beautiful sunshine Perth has been nicely presented with today to do some gardening! Good for the soul. It’s superb here – a nice 20º so far and apparently getting to 21º. Yes! Perfect. 🙂
Great selection of flowers– did you have any chives or garlic chives? I love them for their spikes of flavor and for the pretty flowers- they are great for flavoring vinegars as well.
I do have chives and have had them from the get go but for various reasons they haven’t really taken off. Some flowers from them would be absolutely lovely when I get to that point though. (And lovely to see your name come up Heidi! x)
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I’m still reading- just kind of quiet. My brother died this summer and my life has been really off kilter for the last year or so. I love seeing your happiness in your own home and garden, Brydie!
Oh Heidi, I’m really sorry to hear that. I know how close you were. xx
You have flowers?! We only have mud. I think “flowers” start about November here 😉
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