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Bee-Friendly. Part 1: Perennials

The last post I wrote was about perennials for your farm. But many of these perennials are not just for farmers, they can also double as bee-friendly landscape plants for interested gardeners. Many bee-friendly plants are also butterfly-friendly and support native bird habitats. Since the plants are perennials, the labor involved is minimal (no replanting every year) Basically, everyone wins!

Below are my top five perennial bee-friendly plants (which also serve up beautiful cut flowers).

#1 Monarda (Bee Balm)

Varieties: Lemon Mint & Jacob Cline

What I love: this is serious comfort food for bees. In my fields, they practically gorge themselves on all the tasty nectar this plant puts out. a prolific bloomer, this silvery purple color is soothing and complimentary with many other flower colors. The bright red varieties really pop in landscaping.

Things to watch out for: they can look a bit raggedy if you don't cut or deadhead regularly and can get tall and floppy. Some staking may be necessary. They also spread pretty fast so extra care is required to keep them in check. OR plant them in a blank space that needs help and they'll fill it in for you pretty quickly!