Flowering Bee Lawns

I read a nice article about Flowering Bee Lawns on a Minnesota university site. Here’s the link:

https://www.beelab.umn.edu/sites/beelab.umn.edu/files/floweringlawninfoenrtflogo.pdf

The folks at the Bee Lab use the term Reconciliation Ecology, which they define as a conservation philosophy that seeks to improve the ability of human landscapes to support biodiversity, while still allowing for human use. Perfect! Here in Florida, a Flowering Bee Lawn is a very easy goal to achieve. Choosing plants that are native to Florida or Well Behaved Tropicals is your best bet. My front lawn is an example (I never knew it had a fancy name!)- there are both Bahia and Floratam grasses present, as well as Perennial Peanut (Arachis glabrata) and Carolina Wild Petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) (I planted these), and Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) and Florida Betony (Stachys floridana) (they planted themselves). I’m going to add some Twinflower (Dyschoriste oblongifolia), which has dark green leaves and small lavender flowers and Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata), a low growing plant with spires of blue flowers in the spring. The natives in this lawn act as both nectar sources for bees and other pollinators, as well as larval sources for several butterflies. The variety of plants and grasses ensures that there is a beautiful green carpet that cools the area in the summer and provides additional nectar sources for our pollinators.

In my back yard, I have an area that is more shaded and has Floratam grass with spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Browne’s Savory (Clinopodium brownei). The Browne’s Savory has dainty white flowers that small pollinators appreciate. These two minty plants provide a sprig for iced tea and smell heavenly when I get the lawn mower out. They remind me of my dad mowing the lawn when I was a little girl- we lived on Mint Water Brook Lane and there was wild mint growing all around us. Another plant inspired memory!

Get started on your Flowering Bee Lawn today- honeybees, butterflies and all the other pollinators will appreciate your efforts!

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