Rairdog
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Bee Garden

I was a Lowes looking for Bee plants. I had Russian sage in mind. It was on a big table all clumped together. Next to it was Walkers Low Catmint in a big clump which I had never heard of. There were 5 honeybees and a few carpenter bees working the Catmint but none on the Russian Sage. I bought a Catmint and planted it by new hive last night. This morning one was already working it. The lady at Lowes told be hers 4 ft tall and blooms from spring til frost.
Image

I have decided to turn my small back yard (approx 25x45) into a bee paradise. I think clumps of 2 to 5 ft tall plants would be nice. Stuff that can be controlled/contained with little maintenance and wandering out of it's space. I have already started by covering the grass/weeds with fresh cut grass for greens about 3 in deep, watered and packed down. Then I plan on 3 plus inches of leaves and pine needles for browns.

I want a mix of colors and keep it on the cheap side by starting most from seed. I will also collect some from road side, riverbank, friends and family. There are a mix of daisies and other white, yellow and blues all in bloom right now. I want mostly perennials or annuals that reseeds easily.

Here are some of the plants I'm thinking;

Aster
Catmint
Russian sage
Borage
Columbine (I have lots of seeds but they seem invasive at my moms)
Hyssop
Goldenrod
Milkweed
Echium
Lemon Balm
Poppy
Cone flower
Zinnias
Sunflowers

This area is on the West side of the house. My house used to be the general store back in the 50's so it was all grave back there. It grows weeds better than grass. It gets good sun on most of it in the summer but only late afternoon sun in the winter.

Here is the space
Image

This is growing along the river bank and I need ID
Image
Image

Another on river bank and need ID
Image

I don't have any experience with this type of garden or most of these plants so help would be appreciated. Let me know if they are invasive and hard to control.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

What a wonderful plan! Of your list only the catmint and the lemon balm (both in the mint family) are particularly aggressive spreaders for me. The lemon balm particularly is turning in to a weed in my yard. But it isn't hard to pull and you can dry it for teas, etc.

I would add more herbs -- basil, oregano, thyme, sage, lavender. They are great for you AND the bees love them when you let some flower. All of those but the basil are perennial.

Plant some crocus and snowdrops to have something blooming for the bees when they first emerge. And then plant asters, goldenrod, sedum to have something blooming for them late in the season.
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

rainbowgardener wrote:What a wonderful plan! Of your list only the catmint and the lemon balm (both in the mint family) are particularly aggressive spreaders for me. The lemon balm particularly is turning in to a weed in my yard. But it isn't hard to pull and you can dry it for teas, etc.

I would add more herbs -- basil, oregano, thyme, sage, lavender. They are great for you AND the bees love them when you let some flower. All of those but the basil are perennial.

Plant some crocus and snowdrops to have something blooming for the bees when they first emerge. And then plant asters, goldenrod, sedum to have something blooming for them late in the season.
I thought the catmint was more like a bush than other mints. I didn't think thyme would get through the winter either. I have herbs growing in garden and in pots. I will experiment with them to see which ones survive winter or spread too much.

I kind of all started with the idea of growing aster for a fall flower since I started my bees late in the season. The local GH said it will be a month before they come in. My mom has some but she trimmed them down to about 8 in and not leaves hardly left. Can I pull some roots and get hem going. She also has a ton of sedum that starts very easily.

I have crocus in front that I will split up in spring and add more. I will look into snowdrops.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

Some of those herbs that are winter hardy for me in zone 6, may not be for you in zone 5. Lavender for sure would be one of those. But you can always grow them in pots and bring them in for the winter.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Bee Garden

Also include dill, buddleia (butterfly bush), red penta , brown shrimp plant and cat whiskers. Plants that are attractive to bees are also attractive to butterflies and humming birds. Honey suckle and coral trumpet vines on a fence. Not all of these plants will be perennial in you region. Harvest seeds for next year.

Dill is an annual herb. A wonderful addition to lots of recipes and the host plant for the black swallow tail butterfly. Give the buddleia lots of room. It will easily mature at 5'x5'. Not all pentas are attractive to bees, butterflies and humming birds. They are generally labeled butterfly/humming bird penta. When planted in the ground the brown shrimp plant will sprawl. It is not as pretty as other shrimp plants but it has a lot of very sweet nectar. Cat whiskers need more shade than sun. Tuck them in where larger plants will provide shade.

In my mind's eye I can envision a lush garden of very diverse plants. Create paths through the garden using a very thick layer of pine straw. 12" is good. It will be a little unsightly at first but will quickly pack down. In the corner have a surprise sitting area. A space covered with pine straw and a bench for contemplation of your garden and your garden guest.

Bees, butterflies and humming birds all need fresh water. Include humming bird feeders and bird baths. A bird bath can be as simple as a 24" clay pot saucer set on the ground or on a stump.

I love your vision.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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applestar
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Re: Bee Garden

Image
This is swamp milkweed.

Have you also considered blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries?
I always see honeybees in those blossoms. And mint flowers of every species are absolute bee magnet. Honeybees are not as good at raiding tubular flowers as bumblebees are so it's probably best to stick with butterfly flowers rather than hummingbird flowers.

Summersweet is another shrub that bees absolutely love.

...are you growing squash? This morning, I had to wait for a honeybee that was having some kind of a pollen intoxication "wallow" in a squash flower inside my protective tunnel. I was all finished hand pollinating and cleaning up, and was ready to close up the tunnel, but the dumb bee took forever to come out. :roll:
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Ohio Tiller
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Re: Bee Garden

Just wondering why you chose top bar hive over the square types?

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

RBG, I'm on the border of zone 5 and 6. Last year was a 5 for sure. I know oregano made it. I have pot of herbs so I can bring them inside and experiment with seeds.

EB, I was searching for bee friendly plant and found a list of the top 5 plants and pollen/nectar per acre

https://themelissagarden.com/TMG_Vetaley031608.htm

If you look at her web page she has what I'm wanting to try.

https://themelissagarden.com/

There is dill growing 10 feet from hive but I have not seen them on it. It attracts lots of hover flies. I will look into the penta, cat whiskers and shrimp plants. The straw and bench are great ideas. The river is 150 yds away but I will make up some sort of water feature. The area can be under a foot of water a couple time a year so I have to allow for that.

AS, I should probably leave that swamp milkweed on the river bank where it's happy. I have been wanting to try blue and blackberries for a while. With the limestone gravel in this spot and my high PH soil I don't think blueberries would work. I'm going try in a different spot next spring after treating with soil acidifier this fall. Blackberries might work. Summersweet should interesting. I do want some shrubs. There is cucumbers and cantaloupe growing 15 feet awat from hive but no squash. Every time I grow it there is on to 2 fruit and it dies. Maybe SVB idk. I have seen my bees on the cantaloupe but it is mostly carpenter, bumble, sweat bees and hover flies.

Thanks ladies and keep the ideas coming!

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

Ohio Tiller wrote:Just wondering why you chose top bar hive over the square types?

It was because I had scrap lumber. I have 9 dollars in a few screws and hinges but everything else was free. They seem easier to manipulate the bars than digging into a langstroth. You don't have to lift 90 lb supers. Viewing window is nice too! I'm not set up to do finger joints for langs. It does make it hard to put a nuc in. Next year I plan to build one that will fit a 5 frame nuc in the front and transition into a TBH. I always have scrap lumber and plywood on hand. Hopefully it will survive the winter.

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applestar
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Re: Bee Garden

You could go back in the fall and collect some seeds from the swamp milkweed. Narrower, not spikey pods with smaller fluff than the common milkweed. You may be able to grow them at the base of a rain gutter down spout. Mine are just starting to bloom just to the left of center. Summersweet at bottom right corner has started blooming, too.
Mine are growing in a lower, wetter part of a rain garden bed,<br />fed by the downspout.
Mine are growing in a lower, wetter part of a rain garden bed,
fed by the downspout.
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

I was at moms today doing some house-sitting/chores while she is off gambling. I don't know what most are so I just followed the bees.

I got a chunk of this....honeybee on it. Smells like lavender idk.
Image
And butterfly
Image

I took a sedum. She has it all over the front and back. Just plug a branch in the ground and it goes.
Image

I took half of the Aster she cut down. Hopefully it will come back for me.
Image

Here are some other perennials. Daisy of some sort?
Image

No idea
Image

Most of her mums died this past winter. This one is growing well.
Image

I think these are sunflowers that re-seeded.
Image

They all look bee friendly and grow in manageable patches. Let me know what you think.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

applestar wrote:You could go back in the fall and collect some seeds from the swamp milkweed. Narrower, not spikey pods than the common milkweed with smaller fluff. You may be able to grow them at the base of a rain gutter down spout. Mine are just starting to bloom just to the left of center. Summer Sweet at bottom right corner has started blooming, too.
I have a downspout 10 ft from hive, great idea. There is lots of milkweed 150 yds from hive along river bank. I think my mom has something similar to that summer sweet.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

I put some plants in the ground today. All free starts from a neighbor, mom and some I started from seed.

Image

I think this is Anise Hyssop from moms. It has a licorice smell. Bee already working it.
Image

The list so far;

White Cone flower
Purple Cone flower
Anise Hyssop pink
Another Buddleia/Agastache/Hyssop blue (these are confusing)
Sedum in rock/dirt pile
2 Aster
Currant bush
3 mysteries

Need ID for this one
Image

Need ID for this one also
Image

Is this a button bush? Found it along river and the bees were working it.
Image

Located some milk weed for collecting seeds this fall.
Image

The low bed is just dirt. I plan on putting Columbine seeds there over the winter. I think they need to stratify but not sure. I have more rock to use up so I was going to link raised beds kind of jigsaw shaped. Then herbs, sunflower, zinnia and borage or other plants that like to reseed and spread. I cheated with some MG quickstart :(.

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applestar
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Re: Bee Garden

Rairdog wrote:No idea
Image
Rairdog wrote:Need ID for this one also
Image[/url]
These two are the same or at least they are both Monarda -- Bee Balm. Looks like two different colors? 2nd photo shows spent blossom heads. If you deadhead them, the plants will continue to bloom.
Rairdog wrote:Need ID for this one
Image
I thought maybe Threadleaf Coreopsis, but the flowers seem too small?
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

applestar wrote:
Rairdog wrote:No idea
Image
Rairdog wrote:Need ID for this one also
Image[/url]
These two are the same or at least they are both Monarda -- Bee Balm. Looks like two different colors? 2nd photo shows spent blossom heads. If you deadhead them, the plants will continue to bloom.


The first one is growing at my moms. The second one came from a neighbor. Thanks, I will deadhead it.

Rairdog wrote:Need ID for this one
Image
I thought maybe Threadleaf Coreopsis, but the flowers seem too small?
This came from the neighbor lady and she forgot the name.

Any Ides on the button bush? It looks like an IN native but the leaves seem different. It also seems to like growing on the edge of the water.

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applestar
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Re: Bee Garden

SO FUNNY that you are asking about the Buttonbush.
I took these photos for you this morning. :D
Bees are all over the Buttonbush
Bees are all over the Buttonbush
I have a local bumblebee nest in my garden and honeybees are visitors, but you get the idea. :wink:

I also took a new updated photo of the RainBog Garden since the Buttonbush and other flowers are now in bloom, and included my "Wildflower" bed across the path in the collage.
image.jpg
A second Swamp Milkweed started to grow here, I'm afraid the tall gorgeous purple one is likely the invasive Purple Loosetrife, and more Cardinal flower has sprung up from seeds I scattered last fall. The other purple flower is Summer/Garden Phlox (I have a paler purple one and a white one in the drier part of the RainBog garden.) Originally this bed started with the red Monarda "Jacob Klein" in the bottom left corner.

Ugh! I tried to move that bamboo stake so it wouldn't be in the picture, but I disturbed a big carpenter bee (almost IMPOSSIBLE not to disturb the bees if you try to move anything) and she chased me :roll: They're not aggressive enough to sting, and typically will foreheadbutt you in warning if agitated, but they do buzz and fly in your face. :roll:
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

I just got back from the river bank. I took a bunch of Buttonbush cuttings and poked along the bank in front of house. I also put some in my AP beds since they are always wet. I read the summer cuttings will root in 3 to 6 weeks. After digging around the yard the last few days I think it's too dry. Such a cool plant so I will try and spread it around.

The swamp milkweed I took a pic of is the only one I can find. I will spread it around also when seeds are ready.

The neighbor lady that gave me the last batch had a bunch of Phlox but it was taking over so I passed. She just sold her house and is moving. I asked if there was any plants that I could separate and bee friendly. It was an education.

Here is another she gave me. Lemon balm?
Image

Another riverbank plant ID needed.
Image

lily51
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Re: Bee Garden

I just came in from the garden,and was going to start a thread about attracting bees. What a great idea for a garden. Lots of good ideas here. I have one more to add... My blue globe thistle is covered with honeybees, some bumble bees and a few swallowtail butterflies.
I started it from seed in the greenhouse 2 years ago, and it is now 4 1/2' tall. The critters were not overly attracted to it until the blossoms matured into their beautiful dark blue color.
I mark it in the spring by surrounding it with bricks so my husband doesn't remove it, mistaking it for a weed.
Thanks for the photos, too. :D

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

lily51 wrote:I just came in from the garden,and was going to start a thread about attracting bees. What a great idea for a garden. Lots of good ideas here. I have one more to add... My blue globe thistle is covered with honeybees, some bumble bees and a few swallowtail butterflies.
I started it from seed in the greenhouse 2 years ago, and it is now 4 1/2' tall. The critters were not overly attracted to it until the blossoms matured into their beautiful dark blue color.
I mark it in the spring by surrounding it with bricks so my husband doesn't remove it, mistaking it for a weed.
Thanks for the photos, too. :D

Thanks, I've been looking for a thistle that wasn't invasive.

I like photo's too. I have five bars this big after 9 days and a small comb they're working.
Image
Here is my queen with a green dot at lower left.
Image

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Bee Garden

Every day when I walk out to my garden, I have to watch my step! There are bees, honey bees mostly, all over the lawn! We have mostly white and red clover in our yard. I'd say to infiltrate your grass with clover. For every foot or so of clover, we see 1-5 HONEY bees. I'm unaware if anyone here keeps an actual hive. They are non-aggressive. We also have a pretty large bumble bee population! They seem to really enjoy the oregano, sage, bee balm, and basil. They go NUTS over pumpkin, squash and cucumber flowers. ( Applestar, my bumbles get lazy, too! I think they just get too hot and sit there and wait for cooler temps! Or maybe they get Dewey and then must dry off?)

Eta:
Carpenter bee males are the bombers. They think you might be a potential mate and that's why they act aggressively and hover. They are incapable of stinging, but will harass the CRAP out of you, especially if you are sunning on the deck with a yellowish Colored bathing suit. The female can sting, but only will if you get to messing with their nesting hole...
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

Rairdog wrote:I was at moms today doing some house-sitting/chores while she is off gambling. I don't know what most are so I just followed the bees.

I got a chunk of this....honeybee on it. Smells like lavender idk.
Image
And butterfly
Image


They all look bee friendly and grow in manageable patches. Let me know what you think.
I don't think anyone ID'd this one for you. It is anise hyssop, aka licorice mint. It is as you have seen a very good bee and butterfly plant. It is also very nice in herbal tea blends.
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Susan W
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Re: Bee Garden

Indeed a good thread! As mentioned elsewhere, this is the year of the bumblebee for me, honey bees not so much even though neighbor has a hive. We did see some of hers on the Russian Sage in a front area by the curb. I also get some small bees, perhaps native bees, and they are partial to the sunflower (I have cucumber leaf, native to gulf coast, branching, smaller flowers).

Something to keep in mind for bees and butterflies, birds is diversity. Different colors (reds, yellows, purples, whites) and shapes (daisy type, trumpet, spike etc). Also it is good to have things blooming from frost to frost. With perennials can be a challenge, as some have a 6 week bloom cycle. A few easy annuals can fill in very nicely and add that burst of color, such as zinnias and cosmos.

If you are in 7 or warmer, I suggest Mexican sage. This is huge for me, dies back in winter. It has purple salvia- spike blooms late in season, lat Aug-Oct. When it starts to flower, it's the signal for south flying hummingbirds and monarchs.
Have fun!
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DDMcKenna
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Re: Bee Garden

ElizabethB wrote:Also include dill, buddleia (butterfly bush), red penta , brown shrimp plant and cat whiskers. Plants that are attractive to bees are also attractive to butterflies and humming birds. Honey suckle and coral trumpet vines on a fence. Not all of these plants will be perennial in you region. Harvest seeds for next year.

Dill is an annual herb. A wonderful addition to lots of recipes and the host plant for the black swallow tail butterfly. Give the buddleia lots of room. It will easily mature at 5'x5'. Not all pentas are attractive to bees, butterflies and humming birds. They are generally labeled butterfly/humming bird penta. When planted in the ground the brown shrimp plant will sprawl. It is not as pretty as other shrimp plants but it has a lot of very sweet nectar. Cat whiskers need more shade than sun. Tuck them in where larger plants will provide shade.

In my mind's eye I can envision a lush garden of very diverse plants. Create paths through the garden using a very thick layer of pine straw. 12" is good. It will be a little unsightly at first but will quickly pack down. In the corner have a surprise sitting area. A space covered with pine straw and a bench for contemplation of your garden and your garden guest.

Bees, butterflies and humming birds all need fresh water. Include humming bird feeders and bird baths. A bird bath can be as simple as a 24" clay pot saucer set on the ground or on a stump.

I love your vision.

Good luck
That sounds like an awesomely beautiful garden that you have described I would love to build something like that, but we have these darn rodents! It seems like millions of them. Some people call them cute little squirrels but they are everywhere and trying to put out a birdfeeder that the squirrels can't figure out how to get to is a talent I haven't achieved yet. My wife has tried several times, but those darn creatures are so inventive that you can't help but watch their amazing acrobatics. It usually takes them less than an hour to empty a birdfeeder.

lily51
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Re: Bee Garden

Lindsaylew82 wrote:Every day when I walk out to my garden, I have to watch my step! There are bees, honey bees mostly, all over the lawn! We have mostly white and red clover in our yard. I'd say to infiltrate your grass with clover. For every foot or so of clover, we see 1-5 HONEY bee
I remember as a kid running outside all summer in bare feet, and always stepping a honey bee, getting stung. Yards seemed to be less manicured then, had lots of clover that bees love. There was no lawn care companies, at least none the average person used. Maybe bees have lost part of this clover, more diverse lawn habitat that was more prevalent 50-60 years ago.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

lily51 wrote:
Lindsaylew82 wrote:Every day when I walk out to my garden, I have to watch my step! There are bees, honey bees mostly, all over the lawn! We have mostly white and red clover in our yard. I'd say to infiltrate your grass with clover. For every foot or so of clover, we see 1-5 HONEY bee
I remember as a kid running outside all summer in bare feet, and always stepping a honey bee, getting stung. Yards seemed to be less manicured then, had lots of clover that bees love. There was no lawn care companies, at least none the average person used. Maybe bees have lost part of this clover, more diverse lawn habitat that was more prevalent 50-60 years ago.
Nobody sprays or pays for grass maintenance in my neighborhood that I know of. There is white clover in all their lawns right now. The red clover is supposedly too long for a honeybees tongue to reach. They do eat the crimson clover.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

DDMcKenna wrote:
ElizabethB wrote:Also include dill, buddleia (butterfly bush), red penta , brown shrimp plant and cat whiskers. Plants that are attractive to bees are also attractive to butterflies and humming birds. Honey suckle and coral trumpet vines on a fence. Not all of these plants will be perennial in you region. Harvest seeds for next year.

Dill is an annual herb. A wonderful addition to lots of recipes and the host plant for the black swallow tail butterfly. Give the buddleia lots of room. It will easily mature at 5'x5'. Not all pentas are attractive to bees, butterflies and humming birds. They are generally labeled butterfly/humming bird penta. When planted in the ground the brown shrimp plant will sprawl. It is not as pretty as other shrimp plants but it has a lot of very sweet nectar. Cat whiskers need more shade than sun. Tuck them in where larger plants will provide shade.

In my mind's eye I can envision a lush garden of very diverse plants. Create paths through the garden using a very thick layer of pine straw. 12" is good. It will be a little unsightly at first but will quickly pack down. In the corner have a surprise sitting area. A space covered with pine straw and a bench for contemplation of your garden and your garden guest.

Bees, butterflies and humming birds all need fresh water. Include humming bird feeders and bird baths. A bird bath can be as simple as a 24" clay pot saucer set on the ground or on a stump.

I love your vision.

Good luck
That sounds like an awesomely beautiful garden that you have described I would love to build something like that, but we have these darn rodents! It seems like millions of them. Some people call them cute little squirrels but they are everywhere and trying to put out a birdfeeder that the squirrels can't figure out how to get to is a talent I haven't achieved yet. My wife has tried several times, but those darn creatures are so inventive that you can't help but watch their amazing acrobatics. It usually takes them less than an hour to empty a birdfeeder.

I have LOTS of squirrels here. They have never been a problem except for an occasional bite in a tomato. I bring in mulch from cleaning customers flower beds and they dig through it for acorns and walnuts. I also have 5 walnut trees and the neighbors have them. I pile them up when in the fall so I can mow and collect leaves for the compost. They eat on them all year. I also have huge Sycamore and maple trees that they eat the seeds from. We don't have rabbits or chipmunks in the hood either. I don't think they like the river bottom land because of flooding.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

[quote="DDMcKenna]

That sounds like an awesomely beautiful garden that you have described I would love to build something like that, but we have these darn rodents! It seems like millions of them. Some people call them cute little squirrels but they are everywhere and trying to put out a birdfeeder that the squirrels can't figure out how to get to is a talent I haven't achieved yet. My wife has tried several times, but those darn creatures are so inventive that you can't help but watch their amazing acrobatics. It usually takes them less than an hour to empty a birdfeeder.[/quote]

you need squirrel proof bird feeders. These are the kind that work best for us:


Image
https://www.a-home-for-wild-birds.com/im ... r-5346.jpg

They have the feeder tube inside a heavy wire cage that the birds can get through, but the squirrels can't. We had some for years and the squirrels have never managed to chew through them.

Have you tried these?

But I have lots of squirrels (hence the squirrel proof bird feeders). Other than eating all the birdseed they can get, they don't much bother the garden. Other than eating your bird seed, how do the squirrels keep you from doing a garden? What kind of damage is being done? If you have plants that get eaten down from the top, leaving just a few inches of bare stem, that isn't squirrels, it is woodchucks / groundhogs.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Bee Garden

Our squirrels will take bites here and there of every fully ripe tomato on the vine! Why we pull them when they're fully blushed. They usually only do so when it's very hot and dry. I wonder if they would leave them alone if provided drinking water. Then there would be more mosquitoes...
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

Bird baths or anything else you provide water in, will only become a mosquito breeder if the water is STILL. You can solve that by putting a little fountain in or you can use a water wiggler:

https://www.pricefalls.com/product/API-W ... _campaign=


It is a little battery operated device (or for a bit more $ you can get one with a solar panel) that just wiggles the water enough that mosquitos won't use it.

Image
https://www.austinsouth.wbu.com/download/30145?type=jpg

The battery just keeps the little white things moving and they create ripples in the water.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Bee Garden

Doesn't creep out the birds?
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bee Garden

Nope, it is very quiet and only the little white things move. Birds like moving water.
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

Mom told me these were Maximilian sunflowers and are perennial. She does have a problem with them taking over the space. I have a spot near the old asphalt that might contain them.
Image

I put in more plants last night.

Bee Balm purple
Black Eyed Susan
Lots more Autumn Joy Sedum
Shasta Daisy

With the white powdery mildew problem going around I am going to avoid Phlox and Moranda. I need more grass clipping and some straw bales to finish covering grass. Then I think it will be on hold until the Asters come out and fall seed pods of Milkweed and Goldenrod.

I would like more orange and red type plants if anyone has suggestions. It seem to be dominated with purple/blue with just a few dabs of white and yellow.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Bee Garden

Bees and hummingbirds and butterflies love poppies! Plus they are SUPER easy to grow!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Ohio Tiller
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Re: Bee Garden

Rairdog wrote:
Ohio Tiller wrote:Just wondering why you chose top bar hive over the square types?

It was because I had scrap lumber. I have 9 dollars in a few screws and hinges but everything else was free. They seem easier to manipulate the bars than digging into a langstroth. You don't have to lift 90 lb supers. Viewing window is nice too! I'm not set up to do finger joints for langs. It does make it hard to put a nuc in. Next year I plan to build one that will fit a 5 frame nuc in the front and transition into a TBH. I always have scrap lumber and plywood on hand. Hopefully it will survive the winter.
I have several hives but never tried the top bar I have always wonders how you do a honey extraction from a frame spinning them would destroy the comb.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

Ohio Tiller wrote:
Rairdog wrote:
Ohio Tiller wrote:Just wondering why you chose top bar hive over the square types?

It was because I had scrap lumber. I have 9 dollars in a few screws and hinges but everything else was free. They seem easier to manipulate the bars than digging into a langstroth. You don't have to lift 90 lb supers. Viewing window is nice too! I'm not set up to do finger joints for langs. It does make it hard to put a nuc in. Next year I plan to build one that will fit a 5 frame nuc in the front and transition into a TBH. I always have scrap lumber and plywood on hand. Hopefully it will survive the winter.
I have several hives but never tried the top bar I have always wonders how you do a honey extraction from a frame spinning them would destroy the comb.
I plan on comb honey for personal use. I will just use 5 gal buckets, mash it and a paint filter. I'm not really into it for the honey at this point and I don't see it happening. It's just something cool to watch and the family enjoys the new experience.

Even though I am a total newbie to beekeeping I can dig into the hive with little to no protective clothing and the bees don't seem to mind. I put on gloves, sweats and a headnet that I already had when I remove bars for inspection. I don't even have a smoker and they don't seem to need it. TBH's are just a mellow/cheap way to get into the hobby and help the bees IMO. They just don't seem to mind the inspection compared to what I've seen opening a Lang.

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applestar
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Re: Bee Garden

You've got me curious now and am looking up top bar beehives. 8)
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Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

applestar wrote:You've got me curious now and am looking up top bar beehives. 8)
Here are some links. This ones is a little complicated. It can be done much simpler. It is easy to build a simple box. The bars are kinda tricky. I can do whatever you need help with for cost of materials and shipping.
https://www.wasatchbeekeepers.com/top-ba ... vid-bench/

Micheal Bush has lots of good info
https://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

I just started a month ago like I said. I had the scraps and built it around what I had. I found some bees for 120 and I was on my way. It will be pushing it to get a hive ready for winter stores for my hive. I have always wanted to get into it but was afraid of the upfront cost and learning curve. The forums have helped me tremendously and now it's time to pay back what I can. Let me know if I can help.

Here are a couple links for info that helped me.
https://www.beesource.com/forums/forumdi ... Hive-Forum
https://biobees.com/forum/viewforum.php? ... ec62351fc1

Sorry if I posted links and bent the rules!

Susan W
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Re: Bee Garden

For red flowers, check out the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia.

I wouldn't think one would need a water mover in a bird bath. The water should be freshened daily, 3 days at most. I just go out with the hose and squirt/spray old water and gunk out, fill with fresh. I have 3 going now, and they stay busy with birds, bees and whatever.
Have fun!
Susan

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

Lindsaylew82 wrote:Bees and hummingbirds and butterflies love poppies! Plus they are SUPER easy to grow!
I found some tall red perennial poppies. Package says they can be planted May-Aug so I'm going to try a few now and more in the spring. I will try some on trays and others direct sow. I missed the boat collecting orange poppy seed down the road. I will have to order some.

Rairdog
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Re: Bee Garden

Susan W wrote:For red flowers, check out the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia.

I wouldn't think one would need a water mover in a bird bath. The water should be freshened daily, 3 days at most. I just go out with the hose and squirt/spray old water and gunk out, fill with fresh. I have 3 going now, and they stay busy with birds, bees and whatever.

I like the Cardinalis. Seeds are going on the list. My mom lives on the lake and the honeybees use her fountains constantly. They like the leaks and drips around the sides. She puts pool chlorine tablets. I have read about neighbors having problems with bees attracted to pools. I guess the favor the clean chlorine water. I will come up with some cheap diy water feature.

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