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The Bee-Friendly Garden


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With this lavishly illustrated guide, gardeners can create a stunningly colorful, vibrant, healthy, productive garden that helps not only the threatened honeybee, but the many lesser-known, amazing native bees as well.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction: The Benefits of a Bee-Friendly Garden 1
Chapter 1: Our Friends, the Bees 15
Chapter 2: Plants for Your Bee-Friendly Garden 43
Chapter 3: Bee-Friendly Plants for Edible Gardens 103
Chapter 4: Bee Garden Basics 115
Chapter 5: Designing Your Bee Garden 137
Chapter 6:
Beyond Your Own Backyard-
Becoming a Bee Activist 173
Resources 181
Regional Plant Lists 186
Southeast Region 190
South Central Region 192
Southwest Region 194
Pacific Northwest Region 197
Rocky Mountain/Intermountain West Region 201
Northeast/Midwest/Mid-Atlantic Region 204
Photography Credits 207
Index 208

About the Author

KATE FREY is a garden designer specializing in sustainable, insect-hospitable landscaping, including the honeybee sanctuary The Melissa Garden ( She has written for Gardens Illustrated and Pacific Horticulture magazines, is a popular speaker at garden shows and clubs, and lives in Hopland, CA. Learn more at GRETCHEN LEBUHN is a professor of biology at San Francisco State University and the author/editor of two books on pollinators, Field Guide to the Common Bees of California and Attracting Native Pollinators. She is the founder and director of The Great Sunflower Project (, a national citizen science program that gathers information about bee diversity and activity.


Winner of the American Horticultural Society 2017 Book Award

"Even in drought, plant for bees; nectar-rich blooms help these important pollinators survive dry times. Learn how to attract bees (that don't chase humans) and increase your vegetable garden yields in the new book The Bee-Friendly Garden."
-Sunset magazine

"Award-winning garden designers Frey and LeBuhn team up in this accessible book to offer gardeners solid advice on how to attract and encourage more bees."
-Library Journal

"Worried about reports of massive bee die-offs and what the consequences will be to global food production? Look to The Bee-Friendly Garden for what you can do to help support your local bee populations."
-Sierra magazine

"Most people don't understand the need to plant for pollinators to achieve productive vegetable gardens, or that pollination and beauty go together. This book underlines the importance and possibilities of flower-filled gardens that address our needs and create lovely and productive spaces around our homes."
-Rosalind Creasy, author of Edible Landscaping

"What a delightful, necessary book! The authors deliver its important mission-encouraging bee gardening-simply, graciously, and thoroughly. Find inspiration here, and the tools to reconnect the land you steward with the web of life. Bee happy!"
-Lauren Springer Ogden, garden designer, author of The Undaunted Garden, and coauthor of Plant-Driven Design and Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens

"This book will make bees happy and healthy in gardens across the country."
-Laurie Davies Adams, executive director of Pollinator Partnership

"Filled with 'practical information that any gardener can use, this book does an excellent job of focusing on a specific, sufficiently narrow subject,' notes Brian Thompson, especially one that has increasing significance to pollinator health. Mary Ann Newcomer appreciates the 'wide range of plant recommendations by region, making it a useful resource anywhere in North America.' From its in-depth, insightful discussions to its 'layout and photography, it's a well done book all the way through,' says Doug Oster."
he American Horticultural Society 2017 Book Awards Committee

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