- With family members deathly allergic to beestings, the re-imagined gardens for this exuberant tile-roofed mansion needed to bore the pants off them, so that they didn’t seek the property out on their quotidian multi-mile foraging flights. This only made the gardens MORE colorful & exciting for the owners & their guests.
- Bees are interesting in flowers, so one easy victory was to celebrate plants whose flowers didn’t attract them—or flowered where & when family members wouldn’t be congregating. Flowers of conifers are wind-pollinated, those of Japanese maple are in early spring, those of oak-leaved hydrangea aren’t favored by bees, and those of yucca are pollinated by birds & moths. This is also a steep street-side planting, whereas children would only be playing in the level back garden: Hence, the (unshowy) flowers of variegated Siberian dogwood are fine here.
- The flowers of hardy orange are also in spring—but the bush is in the steep street-side bed that only passersby would favor, not family members. Here, the shrub’s showy oranges light up the October scene.
- Gold foliage of ‘Frisia’ honeylocust couldn’t be more colorful; because the tree is pollarded in early Spring, it never blooms. Sensational glossy foliage at the right is of southern magnolias being espaliered on the wall. Bees DO favor their flowers, but they are sparse—they appear only one by one through the season—and can be easily clipped away.
- The Frisia honeylocust couldn’t be more thrilling—and, as a pollard, flower-free. The Hollywood juniper flaunts its rich green foliage on writhing branches; like all conifers, it is wind-pollinated and, so, is not of interest to bees.
- Hardy gingers make great groundcovers. This is the glossy-leaved European species. Flowers are born at soil level, beneath the foliage and, so, are not discovered by the bees, which always forage from high in the air.
- Emerging at soil level, the ginger flowers are pollinated by slugs, which creep safe from predators under the cover of the (tasty!) ginger foliage.