In addition to keeping a hive of bees in my backyard and a flock of chickens, I have quite the vegetable garden, mini orchard, and space devoted to native plants. When I began planting native plants, I specifically looked for natives that were useful not only to my backyard hive but also for the plethora of other native bees and pollinators whose natural habits have shrunk under suburban lawns and stretches of asphalt and cement. If you have space in your backyard for a hive, you should consider planting New England Asters in it not just for your honeybees but for native ones too.
I love planting native flowers in the garden, and I have two large flower beds devoted to them. Unfortunately, the rabbits have enjoyed the prairie clover I bought nearly as much as I would’ve if they’d ever allowed them to grow large enough to flower… or grow much at all. I probably should’ve been more aware that all the neighborhood rabbits would enjoy clover (of all plants), but I didn’t put that together when I ordered them. Due to their overindulgence, the clover has struggled, and I think this last winter finally did the vast majority of them in.
After chaos of construction, I relished working in the garden this weekend. I planted a few overdue seeds while the kiddos complained of child-labor laws for daring to ask for an extra 90 minutes of help around the yard. (Gasp!) My husband added compost to the garden beds and mixed the other barrel. He set the final garden bed into the slight slope of the hill and filled it with wheelbarrow and wheelbarrow full of dirt. After this miscellany of prep work and post-due planting, our garden is officially, officially ready for spring.