You can bring the scent and colorful beauty of flowers into your life even if you don’t have a garden. If the plants you choose produce pollen and nectar they will also feed native bees and honeybees.
Hanging baskets, window boxes, trellises, arches, pergolas and arbors offer inspiring and unique gardening concepts. Indoor plants can please the eye but don’t do much for bees.
Many houses and businesses in continental Europe have a profusion of color in their window boxes all spring and summer every year. Whether it’s a farmhouse in an old German town or a restaurant near the lavender fields of Provence, France, flowers soften and beautify many a bleak building.
Lavender is one of the most popular Mediterranean herbs, but there are many more that grow beautifully in planter pots or boxes. As long as they are flowering herbs, they will attract honeybees.
A plant does not need a lot of space to thrive, just see how little space is needed for seeds to germinate and roots to grow.
This 3:02-minute video by Martha Stewart shows how to create a nice variety of culinary herbs in a window garden. Many of these nourish bees when they are outdoors.
There are countless edible herbs that add scent, flavor and color to your world and grow splendidly in window boxes. To name just a few, you have the well-known sage, rosemary and thyme as well as parsley, oregano, basil, chives and mint. Individual flowerpots of chervil, dill and borage add contrasting flavors.
Keep in mind window box herbs grow well indoors or on the windowsill. Clearly bees prefer when the window box is outside, so if you want to invite bees to your garden, set herbs outside. If you like cutting a few borage blue flower petals to float in your gin, you may have to compete with the bees for they love this flower.
It’s okay to go a bit wild and be creative when it comes to mixing and planting your flowers and herbs because they all look fabulous together. Depending on your budget, you can buy a cheap flowerpot packed with herbs at a grocery store, and thin them out into several individual flowerpots. Or you can order from a high-end nursery with fancy seeds. Either approach yields similar results. Happy bees.
In less than 3 minutes you'll learn in this video how to plant Million Bells in a hanging basket:
Some ideal flowers for your blended flower box are ferns, petunias, geraniums, ivies, begonias and nasturtiums. For variety you can create miniature gardens by hanging baskets on your balcony, loaded with cascading flowers like Million Bells.
The best flowering vines for trellises are wisteria, sweet pea, clematis, morning glory, and bougainvillea. They decorate any arch, pergola or arbor with bright bursts of vivid color and many provide a buffet feast for bees.
Succulents grow beautifully in terracotta pots and are perfect for dry sunny places indoors or out. They are greatly favored by bees and best kept close to the earth. A few popular options are cacti, aloe, echeveria, houseleeks and sedum.
There's something sacred about befriending bees, as it instills a sense of peace and is good for the soul.