Bees love these guys! The big yellow petals attract the bees. Once they land, they follow to the spiral center where they find a feast of small tubular flowers full of nectar - just what they need to make honey!
Sunflowers are great for bees... and for us, too. They attract bees and birds, which spread pollen across all of the plants in your garden, allowing them to grow fuller and bigger. Then, when the Fall comes, you can harvest the sunflower's seeds, dry them out, and enjoy a snack. Or feed them to the birds!
These flowers need slightly acidic soil and plenty of nutrients. You'll want to plant them right after the last frost to let them have the time to grow strong and tall. They also got their name for a reason: they love full sun.
Oregano is a perennial herb that blooms with many flowers in the summer time - later than most spring flowers. In fact, they bloom just in time for the bees because in summer, the spring flowers are starting to run low on nectar.
This plant is great for cooking - not only does it add flavor to soups and stews, but it is rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for proper bone development and the prevention of blood clots.
Oregano does not need quite as much water as most herbs, so let the soil dry out between waterings. It grows best in a loamy gravel soil with full sun.
Lavender is known to have flowers that are especially fragrant. Their bright color and lovely scent s is enticing to bees. The sweeter the scent, the better the nectar!
Some people swear by lavender, saying it relieves stress, improves their mood, and promotes restful sleep. (Hint: It's why our massage oil has lavender in it!) Lavender is known to minimize inflammation, lower skin irritation, and prevent infections. Also, a little cooking tip... lavender is in the same flavor family as thyme and rosemary so, in a pinch, you can use your lavender leaves as a substitute.
This plant requires plenty of drainage and good air-circulation. You may need to add some sand to the soil to ensure it dries out. Lavender does well in hot and dry conditions and loves a sunny spot.
Bees are attracted to this plant's small flowers, which tend to appear in spring or summer. The bees can get a lot of nectar from the little flowers.
Rosemary has a wonderful taste and aroma that is perfect for soups, stews, and roasts. It is in the same family as mint and lavender. Not only does rosemary taste good, but it has some health benefits as well. It is reportedly a cognitive stimulant, improving memory and focus. Its aroma is also linked to reducing stress, and its active components supposedly improve the immune system.
To plant rosemary, you'll want to have an alkaline soil. The surface soil should also dry out between waterings, but it should never get completely dry. It will tolerate some shade but does best in full sun.
If you've ever been near a mint plant, you know how fragrant they are! Bees love their fragrance and, therefore, love their nectar. When mint is in full bloom, the bees will cover it, and you'll hardly be able to see the plant! :)
Mint can be used in so many ways. It is a great palate cleanser, and it promotes healthy digestion. If you ever have a stomach ache, you can drink a cup of mint tea to reduce inflammation and indigestion.
In order to grow mint, you'll have to keep the soil moist. It does best in a rich loamy soil with some shading to prevent the plant from drying out. The leaves are what you'll use in tea and many recipes - just pick them when you need them!
Except for sunflowers, the other four can also be planted in pots on the deck.