I’m baaaaaaack! It has been a great summer. Ben and I have been working around the house in a bunch of different places so I have a bunch of things to share with you all this fall. I have also been hanging out a bunch. This pregnancy thing has made me take a pause and make sure I don’t overwork myself. As much as taking the summer off has been great, I am super excited to share all of the things that have been going on.
Quick updates: We are in the process of finishing the bathroom update, tearing up the kitchen floor (finally), planning a nursery, mini renovations on the basement, and painting our bedroom! Oh and we planted a bee garden! This is the topic of the day!
Support local Beesnusses!
I have always wanted to have a bee and butterfly garden. Ben and I are always super conscious about what chemicals we are putting on the lawn and what plants we are putting around the house. We have a lot of nearby parks and small nature areas and we want to be a part of the solution to the bee problem. Here is a link to a great article about the bee problem and how it is changing our food sources. We started planting native grasses a few years ago to attract insects. Check out this post on how to put in metal edging to see the yard.
Here is my inspiration for the totally filled out bee garden.
When we moved into the house our yard had a rose bush, hostas, and ridiculous amount of daylilies. None of these were really right for the yard that Ben and I wanted to create. So we dug up a bunch of the plants and gave them to friends and neighbors as they wanted them. Check out the house tour to see the before pics!
This year we discovered the mega plant sale. For anyone in the Twin Cities this is the plant sale that puts all other plant sales to shame. It’s called the Friends School Plant Sale and it is at the state fair grounds. All of the proceeds go to the school which is super awesome! They have hundreds of species of plants, veggies, trees, anything you can think of for your yard. The best part is that they separate the native plants and mark all of the plants that attract bees and butterflies so you can be confident in what you are buying.
This year I was looking to increase our variety of native grasses by adding some different heights and colors. Grasses are great. The tall ones provide privacy for our patio and the birds can eat the seeds during the winter as extra food. The shorter ones can be used as edging plants. Grasses pay for themselves easily since they multiply every year. We have Karl Forester, Switch Grass, Flame Grass, small and giant Prairie Dropseed, big and little Bluestem, and a few others that are local to Minnesota. All mixed together they look beautiful blowing in the breeze.
We also added a bunch of flowering plants. Everything that we plant in the beds are perennials. I went for flowers that had different head sizes and would grow to be different heights long term. This year we didn’t see a lot of the flowers but I am hopeful for lots of flowers next year now that the plants are established. This year we added coneflower, lobelia, aster, black eyed susan, and a few others that I hope will look beautiful next year. If you look closely you can even see some bees on the flowering plants. It’s working!
I am not one to be an expert on planting anything so I turned to the specialists. The University of Minnesota has a great website that helps pick out native plants that will attract butterflies and bees and help the local environment.
I am so happy with how these native planting beds are starting to come together. I am sure we will move some plants around and try different heights. For me it is all an experiment. All I know is that we have had more butterflies and bees visit this year than ever before.
Side note: This summer we celebrated our 5 year anniversary of buying the house! I can’t believe it has been that long. Sometimes it feels like we still have so much to do and other times I can’t believe where we started and where we are now. Home owning is amazing! I would highly recommend it if you want to be in control of your own destiny. Check out the house tour for before and after pics so far!