View Full Version : Help with open garden space.
03-04-2009, 11:34 AM
Hi. We are starting three hives this year. We have lot of undeveloped/in process garden and land area we are working. And now that we are very interested in bees everything we do landscaping wise is going to be focused for bee happiness.
This project we currently have a question on (pictures below) is unfinished from last year. As you can see there are two open areas approx 4ft x 7ft each. It is on the north side of the garage and gets some sun in the morning and evening but is mostly shade. We live in zone 4 and deer can be an issue.
I was thinking on bleeding hearts in the the corners of the boxes closest to the garage and towards the center. Shrubs or perenials...what ever would grow well and help our bees. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your help,
03-06-2009, 05:58 AM
Looks like a nice place for a strawberry bed.
03-06-2009, 09:02 AM
I think you should put something tall in the back of both beds and carry the theme through both beds for uniformity and continuity.
I would not use more than 3 colors in those beds and you need various sized plants or the garden will look flat.
For instance, Agastache-anise hyssops are tall and graceful purple flowers that the bees love. Mine are covered in bees every summer and they bloom a long time.
I would run those along the back of the beds with some Russian Sage.
Russian sage which is slightly taller than the hyssops and graceful and the same color scheme.
Russian Sage in the back row corners of both beds
Then Hyssops in between those and one in the middle of the bed
I wouldn't have a garden without either of those.
Then maybe some yarrow(yellow or orange) for another color
My purple and orange/yellow beds look great together.
Safflower is a nice orange flower, its an annual but you can save the seeds.
Then in front of the taller flowers you need something that is shorter and mounds to help block any lanky stems. Perhaps white for that.
Anemones bloom later in the season and are attractive to bees, they tend to spread after they are well established so you would need to keep an eye on that.
I have them in white and have not had them get out of hand yet.
Have you considered using window boxes under each of those windows?
I would put in the window boxes and plant some herbs that the bees like and that you can harvest and use fresh or dried.
Thyme is one that comes in different varieties and can make up a nice area, chamomile, sage, basil, etc.
Kent Oregano will drape over and hang nicely from the boxes.
They also tend to go for mints, just keep those in containers or they spread like crazy.
Borage is another pretty herb/flower that is popular with bees, it may be a little tall for window boxes but you could plant that in a container somewhere.
Just be a little loose when planting, nothing has to be in neat little rows, just slightly staggered a couple of inches is good.
Carry the same theme from the left to the right bed all the way across in a wave.
In the very front row you could put something that grows low to the ground and drapes over the stone, such as kent oregano or anything else that catches your eye.
On that trellis you could plant some Scarlett Runner beans or Sunset Runner beans and you will be able to harvest the beans in the summer.
You could also just do a Clematis vine, Morning Glories grow quickly, a Trumpet Vine ( Orange would look nice if you do the purple in the beds)
you have alot of options there.
So things I would look into:
Agastache -Anise Hyssop
Herbs-Kent Oregano for ornamental appeal and any other herbs you will find useful for personal use.
Runner beans or any vine that catches your eye.
Hope I haven't confused you too much, good luck and have fun!
03-06-2009, 10:06 AM
I would put in an herb garden if it were me. Many of them don't take up much space, and bees love many of them.
03-06-2009, 11:22 AM
If you have an open area that gets sun lavander and mint would be a great addition. They're said to help with varola.
03-07-2009, 08:15 PM
Thanks for all the ideas. I'm wondering how many of these plants are ok with mostly shade??? I'll have to do some research on them.
03-08-2009, 09:05 AM
If you get mostly shade there are alot of plants you can use. Do a google search but I know that digitalis(foxglove) heuchera, ferns, hosta, brunerra, anemones are a few that I have in the shade.
03-08-2009, 06:40 PM
I've had Cleome's(watch out for their thorns) do well in shade after starting seed in a pot and transplanting them to north side/partial(little direct) sun after the soil has warmed. The bees are crazy about them. Thin off lower leaflets to make space for an edible garden underneath.Lots of short season veggies that don't like hot weather will thrive there. Mint plants add fragarance, taste and attractive to bees.