Sometimes it’s good to be on the “B” list. “B” as in “Bees”, that is.
Much recent news has expressed concern on the declining bee population since bees are important for pollinating fruits and vegetables. Bee population decline has been attributed to a combination of stress from parasites, pesticides and lack of flowers.
Well luckily, we have a slew of flowers in our Must Have Perennials™ collection to eliminate that source of stress!
The British Beekeeping Association, a leading organization in this field in the UK, has a list of “Pollen & Nectar Rich Plants for Your Garden” by season.
Similar lists for the US North Central Region are provided in “Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes”.
Though Honey Bees are often the focus of concern, it’s the Bumble Bee that is most in jeopardy. See “Recovery: Bring Back Bumblebees” for more information.
When adding flowers to your garden, it’s important to have a wide range of flower forms and sizes to attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees. It’s also helpful to have a mix of varieties to provide flowers throughout the season.
The following list of Must Have Perennials varieties found in genera from the above reference sources and by our personal experience. Varieties are listed roughly by their order of flowering.
Pulmonaria Opal Geranium Azure Rush Geranium Bevan’s Variety* Geranium Black ‘n White Geranium Blue Sunrise Geranium Blushing Turtle Geranium Eureka Blue Geranium Hexham Velvet Geranium Lilac Ice® Geranium Red Admiral Geranium Rothberry Cherry Geranium Rothberry Gem Geranium Rothberry Red** Geranium Rozanne® Geranium Summer Skies Geranium Sylvia’s Surprise Penstemon Pensham Amelia Jayne* Penstemon Pensham Czar* Penstemon Pensham Elanor Young* Penstemon Pensham Laura* Penstemon Pensham Loganberry Ice* Penstemon Prairie Twilight Penstemon Sweet Joanne Achillea Apricot Delight Achillea Little Moonshine Achillea Peachy Seduction Achillea Pineapple Mango Achillea Pink Grapefruit Achillea Pomegranate Achillea Saucy Seduction Achillea Strawberry Seduction Achillea Sunny Seduction Achillea Wonderful Wampee
Astilbe Elizabeth Bloom Campanula Blue Rivulet Campanula Blue Waterfall Campanula Chettle Charm Echinacea Mistral* Eryngium Big Blue Eryngium Sapphire Blue Heuchera Raspberry Ice* Kniphofia Elvira Lavandula Blue Cushion Leucanthemum Engelina Leucanthemum Freak!® Phlox Flower Power Phlox Shortwood Helenium Mardi Gras Helenium Pipsqueak** Heliopsis Bressingham Doubloon Heliopsis Loraine Sunshine Rudbeckia Viette’s Little Suzy Aster (Symphytotrichum) Vibrant Dome Anemone Pretty Lady Diana* Anemone Pretty Lady Emily* Anemone Pretty Lady Julia* Anemone Pretty Lady Maria* Anemone Pretty Lady Susan* Helianthus First Light Helianthus Low Down
*North American Only **UK/Europe Only
So, find your favorite varieties on the “Bee” list and promote them for this important use!