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Photo: Andreana Bitsis

Designing A Children’s Garden For Butterflies, Bees, and Birds

Many varieties of plants and flowers blossom solely in the summer, almost entirely thanks to the millions of honeybees who dedicate their lives to pollinating them. June marks the height of honeybee activity, as well as an essential stage in every garden’s life. If your yard is underpopulated – or if you just want to attract pollinators – you can lure them in with a “bee garden” of blossoming plants that also attract butterflies, birds, and other pollinators. Read on to find out which bee-friendly plants are best for your region.

What To Plant In Coastal Regions

  • Daisies – either common or Becky Shasta — Levcanthemum x superbum’ becky’
  • Marigolds – scarlet scarlet or jaguar cosmos
  • Verbena Bonariensis
  • Globe thistle – Echinops Ritro
  • Rosa Rugosa
  • BeachPlum – Prunus Martima
  • Coreopsis – Moonbeam – coreopsis Verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

What To Plant In Mountainous Regions

  • Blue Columbine – Aquilegia Caerulea, aka ‘Blue Star’
  • Baptista – Baptisia Australis
  • Lupine Perennis – Lupinus Polyphyllus
  • Cone flower- Echinacea Purpurea
  • Salvia- Salvia Nemerosa aka ‘May Night’
  • Sedum – Sedum aka ‘Autumn Fire’
  • Bee Balm/Monarda – Monarda Didyma aka ‘Jacob Cline’

When planting your bee garden, always try to plant native or heirloom species. Unlike genetically-modified organisms, these seeds retain their pollinating features such as fragrance, nectar and nutritious pollen, making them much more desirable to the insects. It’s also important to have a water source nearby: a puddle, pool, or even a homemade “bee pond” fashioned out of a terra cotta saucer.  For added hospitality, add some sticks so that the bees will have a place to rest during their busy day.

What To Plant In Mediterranean Environments

  • Lavender – Lavandula x Intermedia
  • Cosmos – Sonata Mix Cosmos Bipinnatus
  • Borage Starflower – Borago Officinalis
  • Lemon balm – Melissa Officinalis
  • Nepeta – Nepeta Cataria aka ‘Cat Mint’
  • Rosemary – Rosemarinus Officinalis
  • Cardoon – Cynara Card
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