Bees and hummingbirds are valuable visitors to your garden. Both can help to pollinate plants, and hummingbirds are fun to watch (if you can catch a glimpse!). They can also inspire great thoughts like, “If that bird can flap its wings that fast all the time, why is it I can’t tread water for more than 20 minutes?”

OK, 5 minutes…

To attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other nectar-seeking creatures, consider planting bee balm, or dotted mint. The tubular flowers on the plant’s rounded flower heads are a showy addition to flower gardens and borders, and the plant’s leaves and flowers can be made into tea. The plant is a perennial herb, meaning it will come back year after year.

The flowers of bee balm can be pink, red, or white; double-flowered forms are also available. Expect blooms from early to late summer. The plant grows to be 2-4 feet tall, depending on the variety. Plant in spring in an area of your yard that receives full sun to partial shade and has rich, well-drained soil. Some bee balm varieties can tolerate wet soil and will thrive along a waterway or in a bog garden.

Michigan Bulb Co. is offering a two-for-one deal on bee balm: just $5.99 each. Take advantage of this offer and invite the bees, hummingbirds and other winged creatures into your garden.

Bee-utiful!