Caring for the little Creatures

We had a long dry winter last year and wild, stormy weather in early summer. The blossom was knocked off our trees which left very little for our bees. A garden can be a refuge, a place of pleasure and a source of food, not only for yourself and your family, but also for a wide range of little creatures that inhabit its nooks and crannies and visit for food and water. As summer heats up, I’ve taken stock of what we have in our garden and in the scrub that can be food for not only bees, but butterflies and birds too. It was lovely to take some time to visit the garden and consider the smaller inhabitants.


We are growing flowers in our garden just for the bees, and as companions to our vegetables. Yellow marigolds are not only a great companion for tomato plants, they provide food for the bees as well. I developed this helpful list of easy to grow plants that your bees will love too. They are mostly easy to grow plants that don’t need a lot of water, so they fit the bill for my garden perfectly!

If you are planning your own bee-friendly garden, also consider places for them to land and drink. Bees can’t swim, so water needs to be shallow or accessible from dry landing places.  Try putting out a shallow dish with large pebbles in it. The pebbles need to be just out of the water so the bees can land safely and access the water. Refresh the water often so it doesn’t stagnate or become a repository of other flying insects who didn’t make it. This one has lovely floating landing spots just right for bees to take a sip or two from.

Water for bees


Butterflies are reliant on nectar for their food so bee-friendly plants can also be butterfly-friendly plants. It is so lovely to see butterflies flitting around the garden. There are some plants that butterflies particularly like, suitable for a Mediterranean climate and quite drought tolerant. Here’s a dozen plants you could plant to attract more butterflies to your garden. Some of these flowers I already have in the garden, some I will look to plant more of next season.


Birds like safe places to feed, so when considering my garden planting and structures I would like more archways, pergolas or trellises within the garden, I will include places where small birds can hide to feed. A spiky grevillea keeps a small bird safe from predators as well as having nectar rich flowers which both the birds and the bees enjoy.


Trellises and archways give birds a place to rest and feed, so I will grow something over them that is beneficial. I am currently attempting to grow a pair of kiwi fruit (one male and one female) over a trellis, but it doesn’t seem to want to climb as much as I want it to climb. I might consider one of these climbing plants for next season:

  • Hardenbergia
  • Jasmine
  • Wisteria
  • Passionfruit
  • Grapes

There is always something new to plant in the garden and something else which we can do to help the little creatures in our gardens. I have been reading a lot about the loss of lots of different types of insects, the world over, due to our over use of herbicides and pesticides which is killing off the insect biodiversity. These little critters are so helpful I am going to be more mindful in my plantings and consider what the helpful insects, pollinators and other garden visitors need, beyond the needs of the humans that share the garden.

What will you plant over coming months that will benefit the little creatures next summer?