Pollinator Paradise: Bergamot Bee Balm and Purple Echinacea Coneflower

Here on the blog and over on YouTube, I talk a lot about cut flowers. However, the desire to make arrangements wasn’t what got me into growing flowers. When I was a vegetable gardener, I was obsessed with pollinators. It’s for this reason that I still enjoy many plant selections which are nectar rich and beloved by our buzzing friends. 

Since my space is limited, my perennial flower bed is tiny. Last season, I used the winter sowing method to start the seeds of these purple coneflower echinacea and wild bergamot bee balm. All together, the total costs was just under $2.00. This year, my patience is being rewarded with a profusion of blooms – and bumble bees!

Though I’ve grown echinacea before, this was actually the first time that I’ve grown bee balm. Admittedly, my transplants last year were very small. In all honesty, I thought for sure that they would not make it. I was also happy to see that the two plants had the same bloom time, something which I was not expecting. Don’t you just love a good happy accident?

Over the past few days, I’ve been going out and counting bees on my small stand of plants. There are consistently about 50-100 bumbles at any given time. Fortunately, they’re so busy with the flowers – they don’t really care if I’m there to take their picture.

These two plants are one of my new favorite combinations for pollinators. What’s your favorite plant to grow for the bees? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! 🙂

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