Everyday Gardeners

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Cocktail Herb Garden Patio Tile View Shawna Coronado

This year I expanded my front patio to include sedum lined tiles, more space for seating, and a cocktail herb garden. This spot is a delicious smelling niche that has become the focus of outdoor room entertaining in my front garden.  Many of my friends and family discover birds and other pollinators like bees and butterflies flitting all around the herbs while we are out on the front patio spending time together.The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

Inspired by Amy Stewart’s latest book, The Drunken Botanist, this garden design was intended to be a relaxing place that bathes you in delightful scents as you sip herbal cocktails and watch the wildlife. Pollinators love the plants that surround the patio. I planted basil, thyme, and plants from The Drunken Botanist plant collection such as, the “Old Tom Gin Garden” and the “Old Havana Rum Garden”. Sitting out front has become an amazing experience because of the bees and butterflies that dance through the herb garden as much as for the delicious herbal cocktails.

Bird watching is a part of this experience as well. We have a wonderful little hummingbird that flies in and out of the hostas and herbs. She loves the sage flowers, bee balm, cat mint, and my little red hummingbird feeder. I keep it stocked up with nectar just for her so she can entertain us with her antics.

Building an herbal garden with the goal of attracting the birds and bees and a few dozen cocktail aficionados could be just the fantastic late summer project you need to end your summer with a garden bang. Plan the lay-out, amend the soil, and then toss in a few perennial herbs such as lemon thyme, tricolor sage, and lavender. You can enjoy the herbs this fall and be surprised by new growth in the early spring for the first outdoor garden cocktail parties of the season.

Herbal Cocktail Garden Patio Shawna Coronado

According the FTC, I need to let you know that I received products in this story at no cost in exchange for reviewing them.

beeAs you’re putting together your mail-order plant wish list, think about species that sustain bees. I know what you’re thinking: “Bees might ruin my picnic!” Here’s my reply to that: “Cover your beer, and plant flowers that sustain bees anyhow.”

I just got a press release from the organizers of National Pollinator Week reminding us that one out of every three bites of food humans consume is dependant on bees and other animals for reproduction. Now you can see why it’s so important to protect these critters (even if they do sneak into our open cans of PBR when we’re not looking).

Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious situation that has caused a drastic decline in honeybees, still continues to stump researchers. And honeybees are not the only pollinators in peril; bumble bee species in the East and the West also are vanishing from their customary habitats, according to the sponsor of National Pollinator Week, June 21-27.

By planting for pollinators we can rebuild their habitat and make a positive impact on the survival rates for honeybees and other pollinators. Pollinators obtain vital nectar, pollen, and nesting resources from key plant species—especially natives—which can be incorporated easily into nearly all landscapes. Click here to find good native plants for your region.

101046572National Pollinator Week is a project of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (www.nappc.org), which is managed by the Pollinator Partnership. To learn more, click here.

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