Gardening does not have to be all about blazing heat, sweat and toil.
Not everybody gets warm and fuzzy feelings about sticking their hands in the dirt, planting and weeding, mowing and seeding, and that’s okay.
It doesn’t mean you don’t want to do a little something to help our beloved pollinators who find their way to your corner of the realm… bumblebees, honeybees and other wild bees with a serious work ethic.
Maybe you are an urban dweller with a sweet little balcony or deck, which means you might not even have dirt to dig in.
The question becomes whether you will buy already-potted-plants or plant your own seeds in decorative containers.
A good habit when purchasing plants already in pots is to find out if they were treated with pesticides, because they often are. This can harm bees and cause the opposite of what you wish to accomplish.
To be safe, buy from a trusted nursery or find organic heirloom seeds and plant them in pesticide-free soil in your pots. This is not a huge amount of extra work and will give you immense pleasure once they burst through the soil and grow.
Below you'll find a few tips about some ideal blooms and herbs to plant. This is a lovely weekend project and will help you feel like you are doing your bit to help our buzzing fuzzy little friends.
There is an added benefit to this strategy, too. It helps keep mosquitoes away from your open-air space, without resorting to chemicals that are harmful to pollinators, household pets, kids and even to you.
You can use some of these flowering herbs in healthy recipes or as refreshing drink flavorings.
CATNIP delights your pollinators, whether they are bumblebees, honeybees or wild bees like orchard mason bees, and it will also please your cat, but humans have mixed reactions to consuming it so we don't recommend it.
LAVENDER as much as the bee and we love the scent, mosquitoes, fleas and moths don’t. Keep some lavender in pots, or if you have a garden, plant it in a few areas to spread it around.
LEMON BALM bees and butterflies love this! Keep it in a few nice flower pots because it spreads and seeds itself so quickly and easily that you’ll have a lemon balm garden if left unchecked. It makes a tasty tea.
HORSEMINT these crushed leaves make mosquitoes decide to go elsewhere but bees will linger. Enjoy a cool tea with this delightful herb. It is also called bee balm or wild bergamot.
BASIL, SAGE and THYME are all healthy herbs for your kitchen and honeybees love them. They are easy to maintain, too. Just snip bits off to add to a delicious summer salad and other fresh-flavored recipes.
Plant some nectar and pollen producing flowers between these pest deterrent herbs for color and variety. Add a tranquil bee bath as described here, and you will have created a pollinator’s haven. Cheap, easy and incredibly rewarding.