14 May 2011
Note the pollen basket on the bee’s hind leg. Photo by Susan Bell
Read about garden bees and their role as pollinators in the edible garden. Common garden fruits and vegetables that depend upon bee pollination, in order to produce a healthy, high-quality harvest include apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries, cucumbers, pears, peaches, plums, pumpkin, raspberries, squash and zucchini.
I mix flowers with the vegetables. Here, self-sown wind poppies mix with the garlic, attracting bees to the garden. The poppies took hold well after the garlic was established. The garlic leaves turn yellow as harvest approaches.
Read more about Attracting Native Pollinators.
Geranium “Rozanne” available from Geraniaceae attracts bees better than any plant in my garden. It is a lovely and easy perennial, described as “very floriferous and heat tolerant; masses of iridescent multi-toned blue flowers with serrated leaves."
Photo by Susan Bell
Rozanne is a scrambler with long trailing stems. By mid-summer most of the bed under the tangerine tree will be covered by Rozanne. As a scrambler, it is rooted in the corners of the bed and therefore does not compete with the citrus, yet provides shade to the soil.
Pollinators are welcome in the summer garden. Rozanne, located near the raised beds attracts bees to the vegetable garden and provides a colorful entry.