Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bee Balm

Bee Balm (Monarda), also known as Bergamot is a great plant for a perennial garden. A plant I had never heard of until I moved to Minnesota, I have found it to be quite striking in the garden. Not only are there varying colors, but also varying heights, so a plant can work in any sunny or partial sun garden.

I have found that Bee Balm only works in certain parts of my garden. Go figure. It doesn't always grow according to the directions. My east garden which gets all day sun refuses to let them live. I have red "Jacob Cline" growing around my bird feeders (see below), which gets more shade than sun, and it does great. It was picked because its height hides all the seeds and the metal posts of the feeders.

"Jacob Cline"

Another color of Bee Balm (pinkish red) grows in my west garden bed which gets all day sun. My friend game me the plant and it readily reseeds on it's own so I have to pull up volunteer plants every spring (you can see it spread out in the photo below). But that's OK, I love the plant...and it look great with the Coreopsis and Daisies.

West Garden Bed

The good news for gardeners in Minnesota is that the plant does well in clay soil!

Purple Bee Balm

It's also deer and rabbit resistant, and attracts hummingbirds and bees. And the leaves make a great tea, or so I've been told.

Light Lavender Bee Balm

Monday, July 6, 2015

Zinnia's - A Great Summer Annual

I'm a sucker for red. If I see it in a store, I bee-line to it because honestly, red is not the most available color for flowers. For the last few summers, I have been planting short, red Dahlias in a back garden bed. I love them, but this year I didn't get to the local garden center in time to get the quantity I need, which is usually 20+. They're also not cheap.

Looking for something else, I came across these Scarlet Zinnias. The color is perfect, and they're short too. If I can find them again next year, I do believe this is my new go-to annual.