Bees and other pollinators are the unsung heroes of the summer garden. Watch bees and other pollinators in action by growing the flowers they love, which are as varied as the pollinators that visit them.
Most bees are incapable of stinging people; those that can sting seldom hurt humans unless their nests are threatened or they are provoked. Still, if you share your garden with small children or pets, it is best to grow bee-friendly plants away from decks, patios and play areas.
Dress up your pollinator garden and mark its boundaries with stylish garden fence panels, which install quickly and last for years.
Plant flowers that pollinators love:
- Plant native trees and shrubs. Pollinators get much of the nectar and pollen they need from native plants. Nurture the native shrubs and trees you already have and think native when adding long-lived plants to your landscape. Try burning bush or butterfly bush.
- Choose flowers with long bloom periods. Among garden-size bloomers, anise hyssop and blanket flower bloom intermittently for months so pollinators check for new blossoms daily. These flowers tend to reseed themselves and are low-maintenance. Or try milkweed, salvia, zinnia (pictured at top) and more.
- Protect new pollen grains from wind, rain and excess drying by choosing flowers that close their blossoms at night and during rainy weather. Annuals such as African daisy, portulaca, ornamental purslane and a few others are perfect additions to any pollinator garden. When the petals open in the morning, bees appear in droves to load their tiny pollen sacks with fresh supplies of yellow gold.
- Use yellow flowers to attract pollinators and multiple species of bees, some of whom sleep in the closed flowers at night. Luffa gourds and colorful ornamental gourds produce big blossoms on vigorous vines that can be trained to cover a fence or trellis.
- Native trees and shrubs
- Anise hyssop, milkweed, salvia, zinnia flower seeds or blanket flower (known also as Gaillardia)
- Seed packets of luffa gourds or ornamental gourds (Cucurbita gourds)
- Starter plants of African daisy, portulaca and ornamental purslane
- Pollinator garden seeds
- Watering can or garden hose
- Optional: Trellis
- Optional: Stakes