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Author Topic: What should I plant? (NJ)  (Read 6733 times)
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2007, 03:34:29 PM »

Just these two but I don't think they are as nice.
I love how the orange pollen stands out against the dull colors of the dead plants and the hive.

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Cindi
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2007, 08:19:01 PM »

mrILoveTheAnts
Simply marvelous.  You are right about the beauty of the orange pollen, and it is indeed  exceedingly brightly coloured orange.  It is brilliant also against the dark chitan of the bees.  These bees are very, very dark, and beautiful.  Take some more pictures.  Best of the best day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2007, 11:09:33 AM »

MrIloveAnts I live around corner from you and my bees were bringing in white pollen last week and today. Palest pollen I've ever seen . Some one told me it might be skunk cabbage. Soft maples had huge buds this morning , and some other softwoods are also ready to burst open. Cant wait. Bees are getting busy. Did an inspection saturday and a small patch of capped brood, plenty of stores too.
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Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2007, 11:23:27 PM »

Skunk cabbage, don't ya just love it!!  Chica boom.

I really want to try this green in the butter sautay (spelling?).  C.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2007, 07:26:24 PM »

Linda, well I kind of think that most members of the mint family are beloved by the bees.  I have spearamint, peppermint, they love it when it is flowering.  There are a myriad of mint family members.

Hey Cindi, or anyone else for that matter. Tell me more about mint. We grew some peppermint and dried the leaves for tea, but the taste was pretty weak. Is it the mint variety or some soil condition that makes for stronger dried mint?

kev
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reinbeau
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2007, 11:17:12 AM »

Hey Cindi, or anyone else for that matter. Tell me more about mint. We grew some peppermint and dried the leaves for tea, but the taste was pretty weak. Is it the mint variety or some soil condition that makes for stronger dried mint?

kev
Well, I'm not Cindi, but I am an Anyone Else, so I guess I qualify  Wink  Look for a mint labeled Spearmint.  That is somewhat stronger when used in tea.  I don't have a mint patch, I don't need one, my neighbor has it growing next to her garage and doesn't use it, so she told me to take what I want!  It's very invasive, it thrives in just about any soil but damp, acidic soil.  It will grow in partial shade but enjoys full sun and a free rootrun, you'll have more than you want if you're not careful!  Keep it contained by growing it in a barrel, or put a solid material ring down about 15" around the plant to keep it contained.  Or grow it where you don't care (at least you think so now!  evil)
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Kev
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2007, 11:18:00 AM »


Well, I'm not Cindi, but I am an Anyone Else, so I guess I qualify  Wink  Look for a mint labeled Spearmint.  That is somewhat stronger when used in tea.  Or grow it where you don't care (at least you think so now!  evil)

Thanks, Ann, the peppermint really tasted most like leaf. I'll try the spearmint this summer. I know its invasive. A friend of mine lost a corner of his garden to it.

kev
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2007, 03:26:07 PM »

Zinnias.  Sunflowers.  Herbs like oregano, thyme, chives, alliums, too many to list!  There's another thread around here where Cindi gives a wonderful list....Found it!  Copied below:

I spent many many hours last winter researching some of the best bee plants for pollen and nectar.  I have a list compiled that I am posting. Good luck.

The flowers that I found most attractive beyond your wildest dreams were:  phacelia tanacetifolia (blue tansy), borage officinalis, California poppy and the cornflower.  Smothered in bees all summer long (and the bombus too, along with other beneficials).  HOpe this gives you a great number of good bee plants to make some choices from.  There are many many more, but these are my choices.  Great day.  Cindi

BEE PLANT LIST
Centaurea Blue Boy Bachelors Button -- Bees and hover flies love
Borage officinalis -- Bees love it, cousin to comfrey, not affected by rain because of drooping blue flowers
Agastache (Anise Hyssop) --  loved by bees
Comfrey -- Bees love it
Centaurea Dwarf polkdot mix Bachelors Button -- Bees and hoverflies love it
Consolida (larkspur) Consolida ambigua  -- attracts beneficials
Eryngium planum Sea holly -- Bees are mad about this variety
Thyme T. Vulgaris -- a good honey plant for bees (thymus vulgaris)
Fireweed -- excellent honey, bees love it
Canary Creeper T. peregrinum -- bees love it, late late pollen plant
Cosmos –- valuable for late nectar source
Phacelia tanacetifolia (Purple Tansy) -- attracts bee from miles
Poppy giganthemum p. somniferum poppyseed poppy
California poppy “Apricot chiffon”eschscholzia californica -- bees love it
Catnip Nepeta Cataria -- a good bee plant
Lemon Balm Melissa officinanlis -- Perennial, bees love it
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Perennial, -- bees, hoverflies
Lovage Levisticum officinale -- bees love it
Spearmint Mentha spicata blooms late summer, --- bees, hummingbirds
Helipterum (Acroclinium) helipterum roseum  Sensation Giants Mix
Yellow rocket
Impatiens capensis grows wild around my house, great for late nectar/pollen, lasts til frost-kill
Great Blue Lobelia L. siphilitica perennial, dappled light, self-sows, flowers summer through autumn
Salvia Violet Queen S nemorosa  -- particularly attractive to butterflies & bees  Flowers 2nd year
Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum outstanding cut flowers, -- annual, bees love it
Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum -- bees love it, turn under 10 days after flowering to avoid seed drop
White Dutch Clover Trifolium repens -- all beneficial insects

Enjoy and great day.  Cindi


I can't find anything on this list sold anywhere at the local plant stores, am I looking in the wrong places or is there a regional thing to consider.
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MarkR
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2007, 06:34:15 PM »

I'd say you're looking in the wrong places, they're mostly pretty common stuff you can get at a nursery or greenhouse.  Perhaps you're looking a little early (usually here in VA, the nurseries don't put out herbs and flowers like these before mid April, beginning of May), but they'll be there before too long.

Mark
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Cindi
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2007, 09:07:14 PM »

Mr.ILovetheAnts, I agree with MarkR, these are fairly commonplace plants.  It is yet early in my neck of the woods.  Around the end of April to mid May is when many plants are available here too.  I know our nurseries do not have yet many perennials, they will be coming soon though.  It is still very cold, I wouldn't even dream of putting any stuff out yet.  Waste of time.  Even bigger waster of money.  Good luck, look around in a couple of weeks.  Best of the best day.  Cindi

P.S. I am grateful that my list of plants is still hanging around and can be used by many people for bee forage planting.  I spent many, many hours studying and researching to find common plants (and some uncommon plants) that are great for bees to enjoy. 
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
reinbeau
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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2007, 08:45:40 AM »

I can't find anything on this list sold anywhere at the local plant stores, am I looking in the wrong places or is there a regional thing to consider.
Many on the list are herb, many others are annuals.  None of these are at nurseries yet, I'm sure.  Wait a month and there will be plenty there!  Also, some of them are more common on the west coast than they are around here (east coast).

I'll outline them below:

Annual Flower-Centaurea Blue Boy Bachelors Button -- Bees and hover flies love
Annual Herb-Borage officinalis -- Bees love it, cousin to comfrey, not affected by rain because of drooping blue flowers
Perennial Herb-Agastache (Anise Hyssop) --  loved by bees
Perennial Herb -Comfrey -- Bees love it
Annual (??)Flower-Centaurea Dwarf polkdot mix Bachelors Button -- Bees and hoverflies love it
Annual Flower -Consolida (larkspur) Consolida ambigua  -- attracts beneficials
Perennial Herb -Eryngium planum Sea holly -- Bees are mad about this variety
Perennial Herb- Thyme T. Vulgaris -- a good honey plant for bees (thymus vulgaris)
Perennial Herb - Fireweed -- excellent honey, bees love it (west coast plant)
*Annual vine -Canary Creeper T. peregrinum -- bees love it, late late pollen plant (related to nasturtium)
Annual Flower - Cosmos –- valuable for late nectar source
Annual Flower - Phacelia tanacetifolia (Purple Tansy) -- attracts bee from miles
Annual Flower -Poppy giganthemum p. somniferum poppyseed poppy
Annual Flower -California poppy “Apricot chiffon”eschscholzia californica -- bees love it
Perennial Herb -Catnip Nepeta Cataria -- a good bee plant
Perennial Herb -Lemon Balm Melissa officinanlis -- Perennial, bees love it
Perennial Herb -Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Perennial, -- bees, hoverflies
Perennial Herb -Lovage Levisticum officinale -- bees love it (so do I, it's great in potato salad!)
Perennial Herb -Spearmint Mentha spicata blooms late summer, --- bees, hummingbirds
*Annual Flower -Helipterum (Acroclinium) helipterum roseum  Sensation Giants Mix
Yellow rocket
*Annual Flower -Impatiens capensis grows wild around my house, great for late nectar/pollen, lasts til frost-kill (Jewelweed, wild just about everywhere there's woodlands and water)
Perennial Flower -Great Blue Lobelia L. siphilitica perennial, dappled light, self-sows, flowers summer through autumn
Perennial Flower-Salvia Violet Queen S nemorosa  -- particularly attractive to butterflies & bees  Flowers 2nd year
*Annual Flower -Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum outstanding cut flowers, -- annual, bees love it
*Annual Flower -Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum -- bees love it, turn under 10 days after flowering to avoid seed drop
*Perennial - White Dutch Clover Trifolium repens -- all beneficial insects

* = not likely to find in nursery, however, seeds are available
Hope this helps you in your quest!
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Cindi
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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2007, 09:54:27 AM »

Ann, beautifully done!!!!  You amended the list that I composed in such a great way.  It is so much more defining with the plants "life" cycle defined.  Thank you, that is getting close to a perfect list, between you and I.  Good job.

Now I have to copy it and save it to my original document.  It is indispensible when trying to make choices.  Have the best day, girl.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2007, 10:52:52 AM »

You're too early for here. You can find anise hyssop at Berlin Mart in about two or three weeks. A member on this site owns Patty's Farm Market which has some hyssop and other plants on Rt 561 in Gibbsboro. Seeds are available for many of the suggested plants on EBAY. I bought and will plant, some borage and canary flowers as recommended by others. Home depot (and other nurseries) also sells Russian Sage, a more formal perennial that blooms from July 4rth to frost. The bees work this when other plants have dried up for the day. Late in afternoon usually. If you want some butterfly bushes, which bees like in late afternoon as well, PM me as mine reseed all over and I must have a half-dozen or so for the taking.
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2007, 07:12:42 PM »

Looking at the above list of plants it says (Perennial Herb -Comfrey -- Bees love it)... I have lots of Comfrey planted around my place and the only bees I ever see on it are bumble bees and it also attracts humming birds, I don't recall ever seeing honeybees around it though. I shall have to keep an eye on it this year, it usually blooms several times as I keep chopping it down.
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2007, 08:11:02 PM »

It's like Monarda - crimson bee balm - bumblebees all over it and rarely a honeybee.... Sad  And it's a beautiful plant and comes back every year.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/wildflowers/monarda_didyma.html

Linda T
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Cindi
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2007, 11:08:31 PM »

One comment about Monarda and comfrrey.  I grow them both.

I would be very interested in comments to come about this.  I agree, the bombus loves these two, I have not personally seen honeybees on the monarda, but have on the comfrey.  My sister contends that the honeybees are attracted to monarda (it is also called bee balm), she has seen them.

Now buckwheat is attractive to the honeybee only in the morning and late afternoon.  I presume that is when the nectar flows, only during these two times daily.

Perhaps it is a similar event with comfrey and monarda.

Look back on the time of day, (if that is possible to go back to exact times of day) and see if this is true with these two plants as well (meaning, how buckwheat only emits strong nectar during specific times during day).

There may be other forum members that are expertise in horticulture and can provide us with some interesting information.  Await answers.  Best of a great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2008, 09:32:52 PM »

Since it's now spring again I thought I'd give this thread a little bump for anyone new or anyone interested in gardening for their bees.  As of 1:58 am (EDST) Thursday, Spring has Sprung!  Yea!
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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2008, 10:10:17 PM »

I try to plant things I like that do well in my area.
But don't have enough space for it all. rolleyes Wink
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2008, 11:47:23 PM »

Hey Reinbeau,
The mint we have at my house is growing alongside a creek (in very wet soil).  My area is also known for its acid soil.  It must be a different kind of mint.  I have used mine in tea-very refreshing on a hot summer day!
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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2008, 12:39:11 AM »

   Once all the flooding and saturated soil is dried up a little I'm putting in zinnias.  They love them all summer long as well as the sunflower volunteers from the feeders.  Bumblers liked my Morning Glorys but the honey bees stayed away.
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