Meet Helen Yoest our Executive Director of Bee Better, a non-profit based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Helen has spent a lifetime caring for the environment through gardening, and now works with others to Bee Better!
Hey, It’s me, Helen Yoest! As an east-coaster, I’m passionate about our unique gardening environment and the challenges it brings, and also the wondrous wildlife around us!
For starters, I like to test gardener’s knowledge by asking, Do you know your average rainfall? Often the answer is met with a blank stare. I get it. But knowing something this simple is the beginning of understanding the environment you live in!
Like other areas around the country, we are either in a drought or deluge! Wouldn’t it be nice if Raleigh’s 44 inches of rainfall tickled our Earth 0.84615285 inch a week?
Oh, I forgot to mention, I have both graduate and undergraduate degrees in environmental science and engineering! But I promise this is the only math you’ll see from me. I’ll take it from here! Did you know in the ideal east coast garden, we need an inch of rain each week? Well, as you do know, 25% of that can occur in September during hurricane season or none at all in July! We can teach you how to manage this!
Just Who I Am
You may know me best as a garden writer having published three books and contributed to even more titles, and I’ve produced hundreds of gardening stories for the likes of Southern Living magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Gardens and so many others. But my passion is how we can better the Earth, one garden at a time!
From Engineering to Re-engineering the Garden!
I’m often asked, how did you take an impressive air pollution career as an expert around the world to helping others care for their home environment? That’s an easy answer; I was a gardener first! Of course, there are other sustainable practices to help better the environment and save you time and money than just knowing area rain events, and we at Bee Better Naturally with Helen Yoest work with you to help save the environment on the land you call home.
To bee better, it's all about the plants!
We are plant-centric. Our gardens are sustainable, and not only from the perspective of water-wise design; even our plant selection is sustainable. To fully sustain the life-cycle of our area wildlife, we have to provide what our birds, bees, and butterflies need for their entire lifecycle.
For example, we can't have a butterfly garden if all we have are pretty nectar-rich plants for adults to feed. These are nice visits, don’t get me wrong. And while it’s nice and necessary to have these flowers, we also emphasize the specific butterfly host plants so we have more than just visitors. We have residents! Plants are needed to sustain their entire life-cycle fully. What’s more, we teach you how to accept that “damage” that will be done to those host plants, and that’s a good thing!
To paraphrase Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, If there are no holes in the leaves, insects aren’t doing their job!
And in every example of our sustainable teachings, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of being pesticide-free, even using organic pesticides. Bee Better Naturally with Helen Yoest has a better way.