Project: Creating a container garden haven for local bees

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The row of daffodils along the fence line has burst into bloom and the spirit of spring is singing everywhere. Even on a cloudy, moist day like Thursday, I could smell the newness all around. It was a perfect day to start my bee-friendly container garden and bring my patio to life. As a renter, I can’t do much planting in the ground but you can plant almost anything in a pot!
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I started with some research. I found that Xerces and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation had great lists of local, bee-friendly plants. I circled what I thought I wanted and headed a couple miles down Rt. 11 to Toms Brook.

 

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When I arrived at Natural Art Garden Center, a lot of my planning went out the window. I was overwhelmed by all the choices. With the help of one of the shop assistants, I loaded up on herbs, pansies, two hawthorns and some organic potting soil. Right as I was about to leave, I was introduced to the manager, Lynn, who was full of information about bees. She has hives herself and knows firsthand what the bees like. After speaking with her, I added a foxglove and a catmint.

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I headed home and happily got dirty potting everything.

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Finding myself short on soil, I drove less than a block from my house to Pot Town Organics. Not only did they get me set up with more soil, a trowel, a dozen cage-free local eggs, and some home-made soap, Ron and Linda sent me up to their nursery (which is closed on Thursdays) to scrounge through their discarded pots, since I found myself short. Gabalot Gardens, which is even closer to home than Natural Art, will be my go-to when its time to get some tomatoes started.

I am so happy with my new green space! I can’t wait for a sunnier day to sit out and enjoy it. The only thing missing is a birdbath and a shallower watering hole for the bees.

 

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Done

 

 

I found that when you find the right local people to help, building a haven for local bees is easy. I’m lucky to live in a town with so many knowledgeable gardeners who are willing to share their expertise. I don’t think I would have gotten the same experience at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Gardening, at least starting from scratch, is not a cheap hobby…I spent about $200 today on plants and soil alone. To me, it was well worth it.

 

This is our foster dog Callie. She helped me with my project today. If you or someone you know might be able to give Callie a great forever home, contact me!

This is our foster dog Callie. She helped me with my project today. If you or someone you know might be able to give Callie a great forever home, contact me!

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