Exquisite Practices, Lush Life: Week 4

A guide to healing the earth through your garden.

In honor of Free People’s earth month (why just have one day?!) I’m going to spend the last two Lush Life posts on earth-healing gardening. Together with the earth and its inhabitants, we are one giant, interdependent organism. The survival of the redwoods, the bees and the elephants are paramount to our own survival, and the survival of our children and grandchildren. Each living being is doing it’s part on earth, and we must do ours. We must be informed, conscious, active and most importantly: loving. One way to do all of these is by creating a colorful garden that helps bees and other pollinators flourish.

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The beautiful photos you see in this post have been taken by Alyssa Robb, whose family farm in southwest New Hampshire raises flowers, vegetables, chickens and pigs organically. If you’re in the area, keep an eye out for Wingate Farm products – you’ll know they’re also doing their part to help save the bees!

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We know that bees and other pollinators like butterflies are greatly endangered. In fact, some bumblebee species have already gone extinct in some countries. But we need bees to pollinate the plants and trees of the earth, and those that we eat for food. In some of China’s apple and pear orchards, bees have been driven out by pesticides and are no longer pollinating the trees. Attempts to reintroduce honey bees failed; now workers with tiny paintbrushes are climbing trees to pollinate the flowers by hand. You can imagine how catastrophic this problem would be on a global scale! So what can you do? Plant pollinator-attracting plants in your garden, lawn or flower pots. These plants will support the survival of these precious creatures, and in turn our own survival. Below I’ve listed a few garden herbs and flowers for each season. If you have the room, keep in mind that bees love fruit trees too, and those trees are the lungs of the earth!

Spring

    • Daffodil
    • Crocus
    • Hellebore
    • Snowdrop
    • Rosemary
    • Primrose

Summer

    • Foxglove
    • Poppy
    • Chives
    • Ranunculus
    • Columbine
    • Comfrey
    • Passionflower
    • Borage

Fall/Winter

    • Sunflower
    • Hollyhock
    • Verbena
    • Raspberry
    • Snapdragon
    • Salvia
    • Viburnum
    • Mint

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For lots more information and tips on bees and planting, visit The Buzz About Bees where there is a wealth of information ranging from how to help a bedraggled bee (sugar water, not honey!) to the immense economic weight that pollinators hold in our world. Also, check out last week’s post on making a bee house for your garden – you’ll be well on your way to creating your very own ecosystem!

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Next week, come back for a post about gardening with native plants and keep living your Lush Life!

All photos by Alyssa Robb

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Comments

  1. Don’t forget to plant species that are native to your region. Many local bee species prefer these native flowering plants to the exotics.

  2. Glorious post! It’s getting into Autumn over here in New Zealand so I will definitely have to plant more mint and find some Salvia! Thanks for the tip. X

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