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Gardening Without Bees


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Bee Wary—Metropolitan Home article on Louis Raymond's method of gardening without attracting bees.—Are you or any of your loved ones among the unfortunate five percent of the population allergic to bee and wasp venom? If so, have you resigned yourself to a garden of conifers? Or to spending the warmer months in long sleeves and pants, or behind screens?

Imagine a gorgeous, gracious garden—one filled with a vivid palette of colors produced by luxuriant shrubs, trees and perennials—and then picture yourself in the midst of it all. Impossible, you think, because of the bees.

Wrong, we think. Because Louis has developed a new eco-technology that enables the creation of landscapes without bees.

This all came about when Louis was hired by a family in the northeastern U.S. to create a landscape design for their five-acre estate. But, the caveat was their children were highly allergic to bee stings.

This was the first time Louis had been asked to eliminate (or at least minimize its presence to the greatest extent possible) a particular form of wildlife from a client’s property. Louis realized that the most effective way to ensure a bee-free zone was to omit anything that would attract them.

After extensive research, he specified shrubs, trees, vines and perennials pollinated—not by bees—but by birds, beetles and breezes. To expand upon the available choices, Louis also selected plants that flower rarely, if at all; those whose normal pruning regimen prevents flowering; and those that flower before or after the summer months when children and adults are outdoors.

A palette of stunning colors and forms in a garden without bees.The result? A palette of colors and forms of stunning grace and harmony… but no bees.

So newsworthy was Louis’ eco-technology and its application that this wonderful garden was featured in the July/August 2004 issue of Metropolitan Home. Extrapolating from his conclusions, Louis realized that other forms of wildlife could be discouraged—as well as encouraged—in a landscape. By designing landscapes that have nothing for pesky animals such as deer, rabbits or bees to eat or use for shelter, or, on the other hand, that offer plentiful food and shelter to attract creatures like butterflies, dragonflys, hummingbirds and insect vigilantes like praying mantises (who devour unwanted insects in the garden), Louis creates beautiful, entertaining environments that are also healthy and safe.

If you’re interested in a wildlife-customized landscape, please contact Louis by email

To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.óMarina Schinz
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