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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

10 Plants to Grow to Help the Bees

Thank you The Graphics Fairy for the vintage bee image.

If you need something from
always give that person a way to hand it to  you. 

-Sue Monk Kidd-

The Secret Life of Bees 

Thank you, so much, for coming by to visit today.  This is my 50th post and I am thrilled that you are here. I can hardly believe that we have come this far! The blog has had over 4000 views and I am quite humbled by it all.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

There has been another milestone too!  The first book from the little free library was sent out and it was one of my very favorites:  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.  It is a coming of age story but much more than that.  The unconditional love of others, the power of forgiveness and the way that life and love intertwine with the way that bees work together makes a powerful statement.  If you have not read it yet, I hope you put it on your reading list. 

I'm sure you have heard in the news about the difficulty honeybees are having these days.  We will be expanding our hives this year to do our part to help.  One of the things you can do is to plant bee friendly plants in your garden or flower beds this spring.  If you are like me, you are already looking forward to it.  

10 Plants that Help Bees    
  • Bee Balm - This is a favorite of bees and hummingbirds and makes a nice tea for the gardener too. 
  • Borage - This plant has a perfect blue flower that is beautiful in a salad and tastes like cucumber.  The plant blooms over a very long season and provides a lot of nectar for the bees and butterflies too. 
  • Catnip - The plant adored by cats, bees and butterflies but not by deer makes a pretty good tea for you too. 
  • Cilantro - Homemade salsa is just one reason to grow this herb that also provides abundant nectar for bees and butterflies.
  • Fennel - This is a truly versatile plant for your garden so plant more than one. You can use the seeds for seasoning, the leaves for tea, the bulb for a vegetable and it is good for the bees too. 
  • Lavender - Bees adore this plant.  Plus you can use it in your homemade body care products or to provide a lovely scent in your home.  
  • All the mints - With more than 7000 different species in this family, you can plant several and have a constant succession of blooming mints for your own use and to feed your bees. 
  • Rosemary - This plant is another great love of pollinators of all kinds plus it flavors your Sunday Roast Chicken perfectly! 
  • Sage - Next time you want to use sage, go pick some fresh from your garden.  You will be amazed at the difference from the dried sage you get in a tin at the grocery.  The bees know it is better too. :) 
  • Thyme - Bees adore the tiny pink flowers of this plant and you will adore it  too in a marinade for those items you will grill this summer.   
Grow the herbs for your own use and let them also flower to provide the nectar that bees needs for nourishment.  Bees also need water so include a bird bath, fountain or other water source to help. 

Try to group the bee-friendly plants together with different blooming periods to extend the usefulness to your bees.  Bees need to eat all throughout spring, summer and autumn and then will get nourishment from the stores in the hive all winter. 

Which herbs interest you most to grow for your own use but also for the use of the bees and other pollinators that choose to visit your garden?  Remember, it doesn't have to be a whole garden!  It can be a flower bed or even one potted plant on your porch, patio or deck. 

 If each one of us would plant just one, we all would be healthier for it.  Let me know in the comments what you  plan to plant this year.  

As Sue Monk Kidd said, "Every little thing wants to be loved." Let's show our love this year and plant just one thing more for the bees.  

Tomorrow will be another day in the garden and I'll review even more herbs to consider growing this year. I'll also include a couple of dried seasoning mixes I like to make which also make nice gifts.  

If you have not grown herbs before, you will be so surprised how easy they are to grow and better yet, how much better they make your simple recipes taste.  I hope to see you then.  

Peace be with you, 

Star Schipp

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