Answer: Nearly any flower will attract bees, so foliage plants might be the safest route as would plants that flower early before swimming season starts. You might consider flowering shrubs such as forsythia, lilac, spirea and viburnum or evergreens such as junipers, arborvitae, or mugo pines. For colorful foliage there are any number of dwarf conifers as well as some flowering shrubs with colorful leaves such as the variegated twig dogwood and the purple leafed plum. You could also consider the ornamental grasses as well as early spring bulbs. As for suitable non-flowering groundcovers that tolerate foot traffic, how about BABY'S TEARS (Soleirolia soleirolii). This creeping plant grows 1-4 inches tall, with tiny round green leaves. Prefers shade; tolerates some sun near coast. Or, CHAMOMILE (Chamamemelum nobile), a soft-textured spreading plant with light green, finely cut aromatic leaves. Look for 'Treneague', a nonflowering variety. Full sun to partial shade.
Good luck with your landscaping project!
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