Want to invite some buzzing bees back into your garden?
This list of beautiful, native plants is just what you need!
We all know how important bees are to our ecosystem and that our modern agricultural methods and reliance on toxic pesticides has seen a huge decline in bee numbers over the years.
Although this is not good news, there are ways that we can help the plight of the bees by stopping the use of pesticides in our homes and gardens and by planting flowers that are favoured by bees.
1. Jelly Bush
2. Gorse Bitter Pea
This hardy and spiny plant not only has an amazingly pretty bright yellow flower with a deep red centre, but it's also fabulously drought hardy. Typically found in bushfire-prone areas, the Gorse Bitter Pea is very tolerant of poor growing conditions. Particularly after been ravished by a bushfire, the Gorse Bitter Pea seeds release, regenerate and at the same time improves soil quality by releasing nitrogen back into the soil. Loved by bees and butterflies for the pollen, the Gorse Bitter Pea is also loved by small mammals, reptiles and birds who use the spikey undergrowth for refuge.
This funky flowered shrub comes in all sizes, from ground covers, small shrubs to big trees that can grow up to 15m! The brightly coloured, petal-less plant is also known as a spider plant, silky oak or the toothbrush plant. A favourite with nectar loving honey-eaters and bees alike. But did you know that traditionally Aboriginals would take the flower and shake it into their hand to release the nectar to mix with water to make a sweet drink? Although I strongly suggest that you try it with your backyard grevillea as commonly cultivated grevilleas actually produce cyanide.
The Hardenberg is a pea variety and has several names that it goes by such as the happy wanderer, native lilac, false sarsaparilla or coral pea. This gorgeous evergreen climber has the most stunning purple flowers that come out in winter and can be found along coastal ranges spanning from Queensland and New South Wales all the through to Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Super easy to grow, from cuttings or seeds while it can spread it is considered non evasive and makes a beautiful informal screen. As some native bees prefer native plants to feast on, the happy wanderer is perfect for attracting native bees into your garden.
Also known as coastal rosemary, this is one shrub the bees really adore! What makes it even more inviting to have in your garden is that it's really easy to grow and other than an occasional trim to keep it in shape, it's very much low-maintenance. This tough, drought hardy shrub is found all along the East coast of Australia. Dotted with little hairy white to lavender coloured flowers, it typically blooms in spring and autumn. Having said that, we have a few in our garden and they seem to flower all year round and you can always find a few bees foraging amongst the little flowers. Although it may be known as native rosemary, it is only because of the leaf shape. Neither the leaves nor the flowers of the Westringia have a strong aroma.
That wraps up our 5 Native Plants to Help Create a Bee Friendly Garden and I have to say, I've really enjoyed researching these plants and hope that I have imparted a little wisdom to you all.