The Melissa Garden

Kate began the process of designing the Melissa Garden in late 2006, after the Fetzer Garden where Kate had worked for 20 years had been closed. Barbara and Jacque Schlumberger invited her to design the garden, a honey bee sanctuary, at their home property in Healdsburg, California.  The goal of the garden was to design a garden with plants with copious amounts of nectar and pollen to support the honey bee colonies Barbara had on the property, and demonstrate natural beekeeping where bees could live natural lives instead of being manipulated.  Barbara promoted letting the bees make their own comb, allowed them to swarm, let them feed on their honey, let the queens stay until the hive replaced them, and  wanted to plant a garden full of flowers they loved. With the help of Juan Rodrequiz, we installed the garden during the winter and had it planted full of flowers for the spring and summer of 2007.  The honey bees were happy as well as many native bees, beneficial insects, butterflies moths, and many other organisms- besides our human guests.  We had thought that mainly bee keepers would be interested in the garden,  but people interested in nature, the environment, appropriate or sustainable gardening, UC Master Gardeners, garden clubs, and habitat gardening were eager to come and share thier stories of connections with people, nature, plants and wildlife. We have come to consider The Melissa Garden as a habitat garden where all organisms- human or otherwise are more than welcome!  please see the website for lots more photos and information including monthly tours- May through October.

The original Melissa Garden- filled with flowers for a 12 month season of nectar and pollen

One of Barbara Schlumberger's hand painted hives: a Golden hive from Germany.

A Hanger Korp hive from Germany surrounded by native tarweeds and sunflowers.

Bernard the beeman, by Patrick Amoit in Sebastopol surrounded by a carnival habitat garden filled with many moths, butterflies, native bees, honey bees, beneficial insects, hummingbirds and more.

The pool garden, completed in 2009 with all California native plants.

More of the pool garden showing the softness and beauty of native plants.

In 2010 we removed the lawn and replaced it with the most productive bee garden yet, using all the plants that performed the best, flowered over a very long period, plus were almost no maintenance.

More plantings at the lawn area

A detail of some favorite plants at the lawn area: calamentha, nepeta, perovskia, caryopteris.

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