Plant Culinary Herbs for Yourself and the Honeybees

Author: Meera, September 21, 2013


Blooming English thyme

Blooming English thyme with red carnation behind


During my pre-rainstorm walk today around the farmette, I noticed honeybees foraging for nectar in the last blooms of the cosmos, nasturtiums, and rose geraniums.




This is the time of  year that the bees search for autumn pollen and find it in the last flowers of a summer garden, but also in the blooms of lavender, heather, thistle, balsam, and eucalyptus.



Rose geranium attracts honeybees and makes a beautiful tesane

Rose geranium attracts honeybees and can be made into tea or tesane



In the spring, I planted a large pots of culinary herbs on my patio to use in cooking. The mixture of plants included sage, parsley, marjoram, chives, sweet basil, rosemary, English thyme, Greek oregano, Lebanese mint, chocolate mint, lemon bee balm, spearmint, and French tarragon.




If you enjoy using such herbs in autumn and winter soups, teas, or breads, for example, consider planting pots of herbs to grow on the patio or on a shelf in a garden window or on the window sill. The plants will brighten the cooking area on dreary dark days and, with just a snip, add flavor to your culinary creations.




Grow mint in pots if you don’t want it spreading over your yard. The same is true for the Greek oregano and also English thyme and French tarragon–those plants will grow beautifully even though confined in clay pots, old urns, or even half wine barrels.



Honeybees love hovering around all types of lavender; here, it's the Spanish variety

Honeybees love hovering around all types of lavender; here, it’s the Spanish variety




In early autumn, there is a diminishing amount of nectar (in blooms) available for the bees. This is the known as the nectar gap–when the sources of nectar for the bees are minimal and new sources have not yet appeared. This time of the year to think about planting for yourself and also the honeybees.




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