Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Bee-Friendly Garden

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I have far too many hobbies. Along with reading and reviewing books, I also crochet, draw, write, and sometimes I try to garden. Unfortunately, I suck at it. If you don't think that keeping a plant alive is particularly difficult, just hand it to me and I'll happily demonstrate. 

Maybe it's something about your karma?
Let's not get personal. Maybe I know nothing about the proper conditions to keep a thing alive in a pot. However, I do know how to read, and I'm not so terrible at research. One of my motto's is "When in doubt: READ A BOOK!"

You don't just watch a youtube video?
I do that too, but it doesn't fit the theme today, and for this particular hobby I would literally be watching grass grow. I picked up The bee-friendly Garden from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. As someone who loves honey and is concerned about the decline in bee populations, I thought this book could help me choose appropriate, hardy, plants that would survive my black thumb while also providing nutrients for our friends the bees.

Speaking of our friends the bees—I had no idea there were so many different kinds! Typically, when I think of bees, I picture bumblebees and think they're also honeybees, but those are actually distinct species. You know where I learned that? From this book!


Hey, I was expecting a lot of information about plants that attract bees and maybe how to design your garden. That is included in here, but there's so much more to it! The first chapter is dedicated to various bee profiles: their genus and species, common names, habitats, and their preferred types of flowers (because bees have favorite foods too). Chapters two and three talk about the different plants you can include in your bee-friendly garden. We're not just talking flowers, either. The main point I pulled from this book is that in order to have a healthy garden for healthy bees, variety is key. Variety of plants—annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees—will extend the length of time your garden blooms, thus providing nourishment for your friendly neighborhood bees for longer. Authors Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn also stress the importance of including native plants in your garden. These make it likelier that local bees will visit (and pollinate) your plants, but also increases the health of your garden. Local plants, if you think about it, are hardy weeds we like. They'll make it less likely for weeds we don't like to take over our garden areas.

Did you start your bee-friendly garden yet?
As previously mentioned, I have something of a black thumb. You have to look really close, because generally my thumb looks peach, but the point is that it isn't green. So, I have yet to start my garden. However, I intend to plan it using the the regional lists of plants and the section for "designing your garden." So that's in the works. I'd love to show you all pictures of my beautiful, living garden when I make it happen, but that'll be a while.

Obviously you really like this book. Will I?
Quite possibly. You may want to buy a copy of this book if:
  1. You enjoy gardening and want to help improve bee populations
  2. You like flowers or food
  3. Beautiful pictures of outdoor landscapes make you happy
  4. Or maybe you just want to learn more about bees, their habitats, and what sorts of plants will draw them in.
There you have it! The bee-friendly Garden: I'm happy to have it and I think you would be too!

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