I don't know why I assumed last summer when I planted my garden that bees would just automatically show up when blossoms came. I had this, "if you build it, they will come" outlook about it. And yet, I knew that we have such a lack of bees here in the Central Valley, we literally have to transport them in to pollinate all our almond orchards. Did you even know that was possible? My friend helps to run the company that does it. I was really curious how you transport a hive of bees, so I asked her about it the last time I saw her. I guess the time to do it is at night when all the bees go into the hive (I didn't even know they all went in at night). They load them up on a truck and drive them over. Bees are transported from all over the country specifically to pollinate the mass amounts of almond orchards around here. So what did I do about my bee problem? Well, let's start with the beginning of spring 2021.
My husband and I were able to plant a garden in our new cedar plank raised beds that we built after 2 years of clearing out our backyard. I was so excited to plant. It had been 3 years since I last had a garden. That was when we still lived in Utah. Within a month I had plants rapidly growing. I couldn’t wait to taste all the fresh fruits and vegetables. I had awesome gardens in Utah and was now ready to capitalize on the crazy long growing season in the Central Valley. This was going to be best garden yet. Everything was going great until I watched the plants blossom. Each blossom would die away like normal, but no fruit followed it. I did have marigolds in my garden, but it turns out, they don't attract bees. I had no idea bees were so picky! After some research I discovered that lavender is one of the best flowers to attract the little pollinators. So, I planted some small lavender bushes in our garden. I knew it would take some time for the bees to realize we had lavender around, so in the meantime, I learned to pollinate plants by hand. Side Note: I have been told that I'm unusually driven and I feel like this is one of the times that highlights that. Who is so determined to have a successful garden that they learn to pollinate by hand?? Anyway, thankfully, after some time, the bees started coming and I no longer had to search for the boy and girl watermelon blossoms to have them mate. PHEW!
Did I have the most prolific garden ever last summer? No even close. Did I learn something valuable for my future gardens to be more successful? Definitely. And so, as a tribute to my first California gardening success, I present to you one of the most amazing lavender candles you will ever smell. Our first EVER scents from Home candle, lavender sage. Cheers!
Have you ever had any gardening fails? Drop your comments below!