It's been a cold–freezing–winter in Texas this year. I wandered through my yard recently and noticed the damage the prolonged days of freezing weather inflicted on my garden. Some plants may make it and others won't, I'm afraid. So I was feeling sad and then . . . I opened my email and found photos and a plant list for another beautiful Bee Garden.
My day got a lot brighter.
Sheryl Smith-Rodgers, a blogger, native plant gardener, photographer, and honest-to-goodness author and her husband, James Hearn, have a yard that the bees already love. Back in 2007, Sheryl and James discovered the Texas Wildscapes program and had their yard Certified as a Texas Wildscape. Later on, she and James also had their yard certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and as a Certified Butterfly Garden by the North American Butterfly Association.
And then, in 2011, Sheryl discovered the 52 Bee Garden Challenge. And I'm glad she did.
Here's a partial list of plants in Sheryl's garden:
Mexican bush sage
She's got a good mix of plants that provide nectar and pollen year-round for the native bees. In addition, she has provided a nest box to help increase the numbers of Mason bees on her property. I like her photo because it shows that you don't have to provide tons of holes–a few will do just fine.
Now is a good time to set a nest box out. Those early blooming spring plants are just beginning to show their blooms and the early spring bees are out looking for nectar, pollen, and nesting sites.
Sheryl writes a very interesting and fun-to-read blog (Window on a Texas Wildscape) about the wildscape she and James have created and all the wildlife they see on their property in Blanco (78606).
Take a moment and mosey over to her blog and read her post "When a bee goes on vacation . . ". After reading the post, you'll find yourself checking out cactus flowers for happy bees. The blog is fun to read and, unlike me, Sheryl knows her way around a camera and takes some bee-utiful photos of bees and other wildlife in her garden.
So, welcome to bee watching, Sheryl and James! Texas Bee Watchers is happy and honored to certify your garden as the Official, Certified Texas Bee-Friendly Garden #12. Your Official Certificate is on the way!