the bee plant

Either I’m evolving into this highly sophisticated, ecologically sensitive gardener who is satisfied with the bare minimum in the garden, or I’m just not watering enough, because there is hardly anything in bloom here right now. It’s been in the 90s day after day with hardly any rain, so expecting a garden full of flowers without a commitment to regular watering to me borders on lunacy. No water, no flowers.

The bee plant has other ideas. True, it’s only about a foot tall next door, except where it seeded next to the sidewalk so it could get the extra moisture right there, but here, where it’s growing in the sandy loam of a raised bed, it’s grown to almost six feet and doesn’t seem to care about the weather.

The bee plant, an annual, aka the Rocky Mountain bee plant, Cleome serrulata, also known as Navajo spinach but according to Moerman’s Native American Ethnobotany practically everyone cooked it (seeds too,) is so easy to grow I plan to harvest the seeds and sprinkle them everywhere in the garden this fall. That’s all you do; sprinkle the seeds, which are produced by the thousand, and next year, bee plants.

I read somewhere this year that gardeners weren’t seeing any bees. They’re all over here. (The bees, not the gardeners.) There are native bees here too, but they resent having their pictures taken.  I took pictures of five separate flowers to illustrate.

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