One of the best perks of my job is the access I have to some of the best nurseries in Colorado. And let me tell you, this comes in handy because I LOVE PLANTS! Since my new title has me indoors most of the time, I love any opportunity to get out to the nursery, pick up a few plants, and get my hands in the dirt!
So when B’s dad asked me to help him with a project out in the yard, I was all in.
He was wanting me to help design a Bee Garden out in an empty section in the yard. I love getting to use my plant knowledge and love for design to help someone create something they will enjoy for years to come.
[A little background] B and his dad started bee keeping as a little hobby quite a few years ago, and over the years, it has turned into practically a full blown second job. I think just at his parent’s home, they have about 10 hives. And then have another 10+ hives spanning from Kaycee, Wyoming down to Castle Rock, Colorado. Now B’s even got one of his good buddies, Haden, bee keeping.
To start, I did some research and made a plant list of probably about 30 plants, ranging in bloom times, bloom colors, plant heights, etc. For this specific project, I stuck to mainly yellows and purples (bees love them!), single blooming (NO doubles-generally bees are unable to get to nectar and pollen), or tubular blooms. And just tried to vary plant heights to help give the garden more interest!
I sent the plant list over to Kennan to approve, but he said to go ahead and choose whichever plants I felt best fit the project. So I headed to the nursery with a plant list in mind, but when I got to the nursery, my list changed dramatically based on the condition and availability of the plants.
This is when my nerdy plant knowledge helped. I was able to switch out plant material but still keep varying bloom times, colors, and plant heights.
After a few alterations, I ended up taking 18 #1 gallon perennials up to Kennan just in time for Mother’s Day. YAY! Nothing better then getting to plant a beautiful new garden for Mother’s Day. I kept the design super easy-natural. There was no specific rhyme or reason to placing the plants for this garden. The idea was just to keep it as natural and organic looking as possible; like these native plants had popped up there all their own. All of the plants I chose love sun, which was exactly what we needed for the spot Kennan had planned to plant.
Here’s the final plant list:
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpuria
Tickseed Coreopsis, Coreopsis grandiflora
Purple Dome Aster, Aster Novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’
He did have some sage he wanted to plant in there as well, however the couple of cold-to-hot-to-cold spells wiped those all out. But overall, I think our Bee Garden is off to a great start. Next year we can see how well the plants fill in and mature and see about adding maybe a couple more varieties to the mix! I can’t wait to see how these little guys mature this summer. I’ll post more pictures when the Bee Garden starts to fill in a bit more!
What are some of your bee-friendly favorites? Have you planted anything yet this season? I would love to see some of your outdoor projects!
Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have about gardens or landscaping! I love to talk plants 🙂
And stick around for some fun post about bees, gardening, and honey in the weeks to come!