The Bee Garden Favorites

Author: Meera, September 22, 2014

I spent Sunday building a rock circle around the circumference of our towering elm tree. I want to conserve water around the base of the tree and to also grow more plants for my bees to have abundant food.



We had a pile of river rock donated to us, so I thought it might look nice to create a wide circle, maybe three feet high around the tree like a watering basin/retaining wall, using the rock.




The round shape of river rock forms the basis of a water basin, flower/herb bed around the base of a tree

The river rock piled on top of retaining wall stone forms a water basin around the base of an elm




Inside the circle, I transplanted some yarrow and white geranium. Already, there are white roses  that boom all summer long under the tree.



But bees like nectar-rich plants with pollen, so I’ve put together a list. Over the next week, I’ll add some of  these in my new bed beneath the elm. This is a partial list of plants bees love.


  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Russian sage
  • Basil (African blue)
  • Honeywort
  • Mexican Sunflower
  • Borage
  • Cerinthe
  • Greek oregano
  • Sweet marjoram
  • Purple coneflower (echinacea)
  • California poppies
  • Lupine
  • yarrow
  • sunflowers


Eucalyptus on the property behind our farmette is not yet covered with fall bloom. The bees love that bloom but now they make do with the star thistle on the brown hillsides and by foraging on the French perfume lavender and the Spanish variety in my garden.



Honeybee forages on Spanish lavender blooms

Honeybee forages on Spanish lavender blooms



Of late, I’ve discovered the honeybees foraging on the sweet nectar at my hummingbird feeders, so I worry about them getting enough food. The drought has sapped everything. At any rate, I’ll hold off taking honey this fall, leaving it in the hives for the bees. They’ll need food to get through the rainy season.



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