honeybee in "prom dress" cosmos
Prom Dress Cosmos?! Yes, that is the name of this particular cosmos plant. Don't you love it?!
And just look at that honeybee in the blossom. I could tell that nectar must be delicious, because the bee was in no hurry to leave, crawling all over the flower, as the pollen stuck to its tiny hairs, eventually brushing down into the pollen baskets on its hind legs.
Residing in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, I am fortunate enough as a renter to be able to create and tend a garden. All of the plants I have in the backyard are in large flower pots. Some are native plants, some not. Every year I grow a few Cosmos plants (not native plants), not just because they are lovely, as the Prom Dress cosmos here, but mainly because bees LOVE them.
And it's a pleasure to watch them fly from flower to flower, sipping nectar and collecting pollen in the process.
You too can help the bee population!
Each one of us as individuals can help provide a habitat and nutrition for our friends, the hard working bees, whose population is in alarming decline.
Even if you don't have a garden. a balcony, deck or even a few potted plants outside your door or in a window box, you can help.
It would be best that you either plant certified organic seeds or purchase from your local plant nursery certified organic seedlings of native plants to your area. Plants native to your area provide the best habitat and nutrition for your native bees and pollinators. Native plants are also accustomed to the climate and soil conditions where you live, and will be easier to care for, even in drought conditions.
Ask the people working at your local plant nursery for advice and recommendations. They will be more than happy to help and will make your plant shopping experience a lot of fun! Certified organic seedlings/plants, which people somehow think will be more expensive, usually cost anywhere from $3 for a single seedling/small plant to $5 for a set of 4 to 6 seedlings. They can cost more if you purchase a larger plant or seedlings/plants that are not as commonly purchased (such as milkweed - more about this later!).
Add a couple of bags of good potting soil, or whatever is recommended for your particular plant setup, a good gardening book (optional) and you're set!
One of my favorite places for seedlings/small plants, seeds, plant food and garden tools: