How to Help Bees Without Keeping Hives in Your Backyard

5 Ways You Can Help the Bee Population Without Keeping Hives in Your Backyard

With the bee population struggling in many places, every little bit helps and you can make a difference in your own backyard. Maybe you’re not ready for the time commitment of keeping a full hive, but you still want to know how to help bees thrive, grow the bee population locally, and even enjoy the benefits to your garden at the same time. Sound like you? Let’s look at a few ways you can help the bees on their journey without maintaining beehives in your backyard.

Grow Some Flowers

We’re all so busy in our day to day lives that we often forget the simplest step to help our pollinating friends. Just by planting blooming things in your yard, garden, window boxes and small pots you’ll be helping the ecosystem overall. You’ll have pretty blooms to look at, the bees will have places to forage, your neighbors might be jealous of your beautiful landscape and inspired to plant their own as well – it’s just a win all around.

If you want to keep all the pollinators happy, plant nectar rich wildflowers and rotate varieties that will grow at different times throughout the season. I also like to sprinkle a little milkweed in the corners of my garden beds for the butterfly larvae feed on. So far it seems to be helping in my little corner of the neighborhood, every year over the last several years we have seen an increase in our butterfly population.

Don't Use Chemicals and Pesticides

If you are growing things in your yard of flower boxes, just say no to pesticides and chemical treatments.

If your plants need a little boost or are being eaten by unfriendly insects there are organic options available that are quite effective and actually cost much less than those rotten chemicals.

Fertilize with compost. Make friends with diatomaceous earth.

Take things an additional step further and just say no to those who use them. Be mindful of where you buy your produce and support those who have ethical and sustainable farming practices. Of course, shop local whenever possible.

Adopt a Local Hive

If beekeeping is allowed where you live, chances are someone out there is doing it. Some locations even have active "Adopt-a-Hive" programs. Find a local hive keeper and reach out to see how you can help, whether it be by volunteering time, offering donations, or just placing an order for some honey with them.

Additionally, stay educated and get involved where you can. Be aware of local ordinances, support local farmers and see if there are any beekeepers in your area that you can support by purchasing honey and other goods.

Tips and Ideas for Backyard Garden Design

Designing (or redesigning) a backyard garden can be overwhelming regardless of whether the space needs new plants or a complete refresh. If you have never handled a landscape design project before, you might find it difficult to go over all the choices you need to make.

Relate to how you design a room in your home since the same principles that you use can be borrowed and used to create the perfect backyard for you. Here are some tips and ideas for proper backyard garden design for both beginners and experts.

Establish Your Yard & Garden Needs

There is no fixed way to design your backyard garden. It all depends on how you want to utilize the space. A backyard design meant to accommodate events, and barbecues might not be suitable for someone who wants to plant a few vegetables in the same space. This way, it is vital to understand what you want to do in your backyard before diving into the details of the design.

Do your kids need a place to play? Do you want to plant some vegetables? Do you want to create a space you and your family members can gather and meet to relax and socialize?

Note that these ideas should not be down to the details as a rough idea of how you would want to utilize the space can do the trick. They are what dictate the overall plan and other vital things such as the plants and other fittings that will come into the area. With all your needs documented, you are safe to check out various backyard garden design ideas.

Location is Key

Your location is one of the things that determines what you can implement in your garden. Different places vary in climates, and these conditions should guide you when choosing the plants for your backyard garden. Study the sun and wind patterns as well.

If you want to put in a patio, you will need to know the sun patterns so that it does not end up beating its purpose during certain times of the year. These are common mistakes that we make when designing our yards, and the design should take into account what the sun and wind do during different times of the year.

Choose a Style to Complement Your Home

Your backyard garden design should complement your home’s architectural style. If you do not look into this, your garden and home will look like two different things patched together. As was mentioned, gardening is just like designing a home, but rather than looking at fabrics, paint, and furniture, you will be using color texture and placement of plants to create a mood.

One way you can go about it is a formal style. Here you will design the backyard with straight and symmetrical lines, complemented by focal points like statues and fountains and pruned hedges. Color is not as crucial as structure in this style, and the mood is refined.

For a more informal design, the style is a blend of natural and formal ones. It contains a lot of curves and colors, lush growth, and asymmetrical plants all over the place. The trees and shrubs are allowed to grow naturally and take their own shape with very little pruning done on them. The mood can be defined as comfortable and relaxing.

A natural style imitates the natural forests and is low maintenance. It blends with the surroundings, and the plants are left to take their own growth course. The mood reflects untamed chaos or natural serenity.

Hardscape First

Backyard Garden Design Ideas

When designing a garden, it is easy to get excited about the plants and forget about the foundation, which is the hardscape. You will need to handle this part, which might be a bit boring, but if you get it right, the fun planting part will be a walk in the park.

Plant trees and shrubs first. Begin as close to the house as you can and work outwards. Plan for the mature trees first so that you do not have to move them later when they overgrow their space.

Lay out potential flowerbeds with a guide. This all depends on whether you will want to construct some form of boundary that separates the flower bed or not. The borders should be close to a wall, fence, or hedge to make the flower bed borders visible from one side only. Be sure to define the points where your flower beds meet the lawn for more natural distinction. You can construct a physical barrier using metal or granite, or simply trim the edges well.

When choosing plants, be sure to layer them based on height. Longer plants look good when viewed from afar. Consider their color, texture, flower color, and visual weight when coming up with a plant combination. Do you want a loose and open or heavy and dense combination?

Do not be pressured or intimidated by all those home and garden reality-type television shows that transform a backyard in three days. It’s okay to start small. The fun comes in when you slowly develop the plan and see it come to life slowly.

Find a focal point that will guide you when making any changes in the garden. It could be a sculpture, tree, or gazebo.

Be open to change and don’t be afraid to explore different plants that will do well in your grow zone. Enjoy and have fun in your outdoor space.

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