Bringing more beauty and bees to your garden is always a win, especially if you are growing crops that fruit (like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc).

Here, I have combined bouquet- and bee-friendly Desert Bells (Phacelia campanularia) with popular benenficial plant alyssum (Lobular maritime) to create a lively border around the growing kale plants.

Kale itself does not have flowers that need to be pollinated, but nearby plants certainly do! I had created this border during the previous season, when cucumbers were growing in this bed, but like many wildflowers and annuals, both the Desert Bells and alyssum reseeded themselves to re-emerge — instant color while waiting for the crops to fill in!

If you do not have room in your bed or pot for flowers, or you want to grow those with lesser water needs than your crops, try growing them in an adjacent pot. This method is enjoyably portable, so you can move your bounty of flowers to whatever crop might need it most.

Recommended easy-to-grow wildflowers include Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii), Fivespot (Nemophila maculata), and Bird’s-eye Gilia (Gilia tricolor). And of course, the California Poppy — which comes in red, if you want to mix things up!

To learn more about integrated pest management, go to