Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bee Inviting

Welcome Bee!
All Done Here
Bachelor Buttons
Patty Pans, or Flying Saucers of Squash
Pumpkins and More Blossoms
Rows are Like Lines; Color Outside the Box
Watermelon From Seed to Yellow Flowers
Etiquette rule number one of the garden: bee inviting.

Pollinators carry on the weight of the world on their hairy little legs. We depend upon the butterflies, birds and bees to procreate our food. In order for my magnificent blossoms to bear any fruit, I need to invite the bees.

Earlier this spring, I learned several important ways to bee friendly:
  1. To nurture the heart, remember that early pollinators need food: dandelions are the source!
  2. To create pollinator-friendly spaces, bomb the neighborhood with wildflower seeds.
  3. Observe where and when you see bees. Their love of hairy vetch surprised me.
  4. Stop with the chemicals, already. Just stop. Note that birds help with pests.  
  5. If it doesn't rain, be prepared to water. We all need water.
Therefore, when I needed bees the most, they hung around my pollinator-friendly yard. I see them crawl into the cup of a squash blossom and nuzzle the stamen within paper-thin walls the color of cheery sunshine.

I stand mid-garden among blooms of all kinds and white butterflies with painted black lines dance at my knees, fluttering up and down mini vortexes of air I cannot see.

Pollination is happening.

A neighbor once told me that her husband would never stand for flowers in the vegetable garden. Nature doesn't seem all that rigid to me, so I plant outside the lines and add Bachelor buttons because I like to see the color blue among orange and yellow vegetable blossoms.

Purselane and grass fill in the voids and turnips spread out wild and unfettered because I let them go to seed two years ago. Radishes make beautiful pink butterfly bushes in late summer. Marigolds come short and tall.

Just as the bees do, I love wild spaces splashed with unexpected variegated color. My Sunflower hints at purple or red. I'll know when it opens its head. Just like all the pumpkins bursting forth, gardening can be full of surprises.

Dinner is served, thanks to bees. The yellow crook-neck and patty pans compete for my dinner table and the first crop of beets is ready to devour. I'm anticipating blue potatoes because I've seen the flowers pollinated and know the turkeys keep the patch aerated and bug free.

Winter gardening has already begun. I'm taking advantage of my bees and their work ethic. I keep planting. They keep pollinating. We'll do this as long as the weather is agreeable to both parties.

And if the ground freezes before I harvest the turnips, I now know that they'll flower next year, and pollinate new turnips the following.

What we learn from the bees!

Linking up today with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. All photos by Charli Mills from within her delightful, magical bee friendly garden.


  1. I absolutely love how you narrate your story with's not only fun but also gives wings to your wordings :)

    I am glad that your winter garden is getting set up...I have started sprinkling the wild seeds in my yard with the hope that the bees shall do their job while mother nature take it's turn and give us sprinkles.

    Always a pleasure to have you on board, Charli

    1. I like the added dimension photos can give story-telling. When I share my photos on bird blogs, though, I realize I'm far out of their league! I appreciate getting to link with you on Wednesdays even if I'm wordy! I'm hoping mother nature sprinkles your sprinkling of seeds!

  2. What a bee-autiful post this Charli :-) Love reading about your garden, all your veggies and flowers. How can flowers not be grown with veggies? You have it right! Love your photos. Happy gardening my friend :-)

    1. Thanks, Sherri! I love move flowers and veggies all together, sharing space and bees.

  3. This is gorgeous, Charli. I love that you are encouraging the bees. We need more bees. Without bees we'd have no plants. No plants, no us! Bring on the bees. I was very excited to find lots of bees buzzing around my wattle tree this week, some with full baskets of pollen. Awesome. For two weeks we have been admiring every life stage of the ladybirds. This week the bees were out in force as well. Wonderful!

    1. A wattle tree! I'll have to look that up! I'm learning that specific bees pollinate specific plants. So interesting to learn bit by bit. We go the way of the bees, so I'm all for keeping them alive.

  4. I've always loved the way you have with words, Charlie... 'plant' outside the lines, indeed! You are such an individual I'd expect nothing less. BTW, it seems very appropriate to come across this post to read today -- August 15 being National Honey Bee Day! May your bees continue to buzz around your garden!

    1. How wonderful -- a National Honey Bee Day! I'm working on identifying my wild bees, as I plant outside the lines! :-) Thanks for sharing the buzz!