A scratch and sniff bee and butterfly garden is a garden full of aromatic plants that you can walk by, touch and fill the air with pleasurable aromas. It is a garden that not only pleases our senses, but pleases the bees’, butterflies’ and hummingbirds’ senses as well.
It is filled with colors that attract bees to the garden. By planting yellows, reds, purples, and other colored flowers, your garden will be home to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.They will be sure to visit often.
These gardens are not only beautiful to look at, they are versatile as well. They also contain herbs that you can easily cut, and use for cooking, and flowers that can be used for making flower arrangements. The herbs can also be dried for later use, for either cooking or medicinal purposes.
What To Plant In Your Scratch and Sniff Bee & Butterfly Garden
There are so many plants, herbs and flowers to choose from for your scratch and sniff bee and butterfly garden. You can choose your favorite flowers and herbs. The plants and herbs here are the ones we planted in our scratch and sniff garden bee and butterfly garden. In addition, we let many patches of red clover grow up in the yard. Red Clover is very helpful in attracting bees.
Here at the farm, we have multiple bee and butterfly gardens all the my yard. This ensures that our vegetable garden will have plenty of bees for pollunation.
Coreopsis is related to the Sunflower, and grows anywhere from one to be about 4 ft tall. By planting it in the middle, it takes center stage. It has beautiful daisy like flowers that are yellow, and have a tapered tip. The flowers can be used as cut flowers in an arrangement or bouquet.
There are twenty-eight species of Coreopsis that are native to North America. The other species come from Central and South America. The Coreopsis flower will help draw both bees and butterflies to your garden. It prefers full sun, and moist rich soil.
In 1991, Coreopsis was designated the state wildflower of Florida.
Both birds and bees are attracted to the deep pink color of Echinacea. Echinacea purpera is also known as Purple Cone Flower. It is native to central parts of the United States. It grows wild in much of the Eastern United States. Many people grow it as an ornamental plant.
Echinacea is a perennial flower or herb that can be grown from seed, or vegetatively. Root clumps of the plant can be divided after several years of growth. This is usually done in the spring, or the fall.
Native Americans have been using Echinacea medicinally for thousands of years. Echinacea grows well in sunny locations, with well drained, rich soil. It can tolerate partial sun locations. Echinacea is used in several herbal tonics as an immune stimulant.
Velvet Centaurea is better known by it’s common name of Dusty Miller. They are a small plant that grows to only about 12 -18 inches. It is from the family Asteraceae.
Dusty Miller plants originate from Italy. If allowed, they will grow either white, or yellow flowers in the summer. Most people pull the flowers, but you don’t have to.
The most common varieties that you will find at the greenhouse or nursery is Silver Dust. Dusty Miller prefers full sun, but can tolerate some shade. It prefers well drained soil. In warmer climates, Dusty Miller can be grown as a perennial.
Lemon Balm also know by it’s Latin name of Melissa Officinalis is a wonderful herb to add to your scratch and sniff garden.
It’s slight lemon scent is as relaxing as the tea that can be made from the lemon balm plant. The tea can be drank hot, or as an iced tea in summer.
Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family, and is a very tolerant plant. While it likes sun, it can also flourish in partial sun. Being a member of the mint family, if allowed, once you plant it, lemon balm can take over the garden.To control the spread of lemon balm, or any member of the mint family from taking over your garden, plant it in pots before you put it in the ground.
It can also be grown as an indoor potted herb. It can grow up to 24 inches tall.
Lavender (Lavender Angustifolia) is one of the most well known herbs. In herbal medicine it is used in both aromatherapy, and herbal preparations.
In the garden, it is used to attract bees and butterflies. Just brush up against it, and you’ll quickly smell the sweet scent of lavender rise up into your olfactory system. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a lavender field in France.
Lavender is actually part of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Originally from southern Europe, northern and eastern Africa, as well as the Mediterranean, Lavender is now grown world wide as an ornamental plant, as well as commercially for it’s herbal properties and essential oil.
Lavender does best in well drained sandy soils. It grows best in full sun. Lavender needs really good air circulation around the plant. In growing areas with very high humidity, the roots can rot from fungus if the air is not well circulated. If mulch is used, it is better to mulch with crushed rocks over bark mulches. Mulch can trap too much moisture around the base.
Lavender can be used in a cut flower arrangements. Many people use lavender to create lavender wands, sachets, and other aromatic items.
Thyme is most well known for a kitchen spice. Did you know that it is also a great natural anti-fungal?
Thyme is often grown to be used to flavour meats, soups and stews, but it can also be grown for it’s natural herbal properties.
Thymus vulgaris is a very aromatic plant which does best in a sunny location. It preferes well drained soil. It is normally planted in the spring, and then grows as a perennial. It is low growing, and rarely reaches over 6 inches.
Once established, you can divide Thyme by dividing the roots. It tolerates drought well, and Thyme survives even deep freezes which makes it useful in all hardiness zones.
Sage is derived from the Latin salvere . This refers to it’s herbal healing properties. It is used extensively in herbal medicine since ancient times. Most people recognize it as the kitchen herb that is used as a spice in their Thanksgiving stuffing.
Sage is really easy to grow from seed in the spring. You can also find a neighbor who is willing to divide theirs, as it grows prolifically. You’ll be sharing in a year or two. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family of plants.
Sage thrives in sunny conditions. It likes most any well drained soil. The majority of Sage is grown in gardens as an ornamental plant, and work well as a low ground cover.
The leaves can be harvested in summer and then dried for future use. Be sure that the leaves are completely dry before storing, as they can mold. After it is dried, it should be stored in a dark container away from light.
No butterfly garden would be complete without the inclusion of Bee Balm. Bee balm will also encourage hummingbirds because of it’s red color.
Bee Balm is from the genus Monarda, and is in the Lamiaceae family of plants. The genus is named after Nicolás Monardes, who wrote a book in 1574 describing plants found in the New World.
Bee Balm plants do best in full sun, with moist but well drained soil. When planted in partial shade, the plants will spread horizontally, but the flowers will be less. They are propagated by root cuttings, division and layering.
Bee balm is considered a good plant to grow with tomatoes as a companion plant. The Bee Balm has an oil present in it’s roots that discourage pests.
How To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden
Let The Wild Things Grow
If you want to attract bees to your garden, it is important to let the local wild flowers grow as well.
While most people mow them, or try to eradicate them from their yards, local wild flowers such as Red Clover, Dandelion, Indian Paint Brush Flower and Buttercup Flower can help attract honey bees.
Why mow them, when you can grow the as an addition to your garden, as well as help the environment out? Bees need all the help they can get.
Everyone recognizes the wild red clover for it’s beautiful purple flower. Red Clover (trifolium pratense) also goes by some other common names such as trefoil, cow grass, cleaver grass and purple clover. It is a perennial flower that grows to about 16 inches. The stems stand upright, and are a bit hairy. The leaves have 3 (and if you’re lucky, sometimes 4) oval leaflets with a white crescent mark on them.
Red Clover is a common wayside plant that grows wild along roadsides, as well as many back yards. It is cultivated as a fodder crop for cows, and other grazing animals, and is also grown for use in gardens as a nitrogen additive for crops.
Dandelion is the nemisis of many gardener out there. While they try to mow them or dig them up to get rid of them, they should be embracing the fact that they attract the much needed bees and other pollunators to their gardens.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officniale) is native to America and Europe. It grows wild, and is considered an obnoxious weed in most places. It spreads by the seed heads, and it a biennial plant.
All parts of the dandelion are edible, and are used extensively in herbal medicine for many ailments, including liver detoxifying, and as an herbal diuretic. The juice from the stems can be used to illiminate warts.
Buttercup flowers are tiny beautiful yellow flowers that tend to grow in fields and waste fields. They belong to the Ranunculus family of plants. There are about 400 species of flowers in Ranunculus family of flowers. There are some buttercups that have white petals, but the center will always be yellow.
Buttercups normally flower during April or May, but can also flower throughout the summer season in some locations. The flowers have shiny, waxy textured, bright yellow petals that have a cup like base at the bottom. This is where the nectar is stored.
Attract Bees To You Vegetable Garden
Here are just a few plants that you can use to attract bees
Plants, Herbs and Flowers To Add To Your Scratch and Sniff Garden
Here are just a few aromatic plants to add to you scratch and sniff garden
- Sweet Woodruff
- Sweet Pea
- Lemon Thyme
- Orange Blossom