We grow more than Flowers, really...
You may wonder why a garden designated for food production grows so many flowers. The answer is very simple: bees.
Over the years we have had a scary issue; less and less bees to pollinate the garden. We have to feed and bribe the bees to work. In West Texas we are blessed with open spaces for bees to roam, but the droughts and pesticide chemicals have nearly decimated the bee population. This year, I hear of hives collapsing at an exponential rate from local bee hive owners. What can you and I do? If you garden, stay away from insecticides: that includes "7Dust" in your garden and grow flowers. Also, add water access for bees and other insects.
We grow flowers for not only the beauty but for the bees.
"Over the years we have had a scary issue, less and less bees to pollinate the garden. We have to feed and bribe the bees to work."
Flowers are easy to grow and many of the best ones for bees are drought and high heat tolerant such as salvia, sage, sunflowers, roses, catnip, etc.
Native sunflowers are not only great for the bees, but also a source of food for our local wildlife. I love seeing finches hanging upside down on the flower heads to eat the tiny native seeds. Sunflowers seeds are easy to harvest and will often reseed themselves. Plant a row on the southwestern side to shade less heat tolerant plants. Plant instead of corn for three sisters crop, allowing beans to grow up the stalks and squash around it to shade the ground and retain water and soil temperature.
“Did you know they are also a wonderful ingredient for crafting, baking and medicinal use?”
There is no doubt that roses are beautiful and great for bees. But did you know they are also a wonderful ingredient for crafting, baking and medicinal use? We dry the fragrant rose petals to bake with or brew into tea. The rose hips are edible for our animals and medicinal as a tea as well. We grow over 70 rose bushes around the house and the garden. Rose bushes are almost everywhere you look.
Old fashioned charm
Some beautiful additions to the garden include hollyhocks, salvia, cosmos, geraniums, morning glories, zinnias, peony and moon flowers. Do you need advice on growing your own bee flower garden? We are always happy to help with advice and seeds when available.