Summer Blooming

Lavender: So many kinds of lavenders, so little time! I agree with the bees on this one- it’s great!  They can be very slow in greening up in the spring, but a patch of lavender is beautiful and fragrant and attractive to the bees.

Lavender, one of many strongly fragranced flowers

Lavender, one of many strongly fragranced flowers

Lemon Balm: (Melissa officinalis) A vigorous reseeder  -there seems to be a pattern here!  When the bees are done, you can make tea with it, too! Has small white flowers in the summer that attract the bees.

Lemon Balm with nicely textured leaves

Lemon Balm with nicely textured leaves

 

Bee Balm, (Monarda).  I always think these flowers look like ladies with crazy hats! They attract many pollinators including honey bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.   The foliage has a lovely fragrance like bergamont (Earl Grey Tea).   It's not difficult to grow and once established is drought tolerant.  When the flowers are done, cut the stems down to the basal leaves.  You might be lucky enough to get a second bloom, but it will be spotty.  These plants like a lot of sun and each year the clump will enlarge by a few inches, so feel free to divide and spread them out.

 

2 foot tall red flowers

Red Monarda (bee balm)

Russian Sage(Perovskia atriplicifolia) Tall and woody stems with blue velvety flowers. Very low water requirements for this plant and it's best to not provide luxurious conditions or it will grow and multiply beyond what you might like.  In fall, bees really cling to this plant.  The leaves are aromatic and the flowers are fuzzy.  It can grow quite tall, so you can cut it in half before it blooms, then it will not be so rangy.

purple flowers of Russian sage

Russian sage

Tansy: Definitely NOT my favorite herb/flower.  It's a bright yellow, button shaped flower. Invasive,  it is a garden thug. Doesn't need much care, or water, just a lot of sun and it will spread everywhere.  Can be toxic and oils from the plant can cause rashes.  But bees like it, go figure.

Yarrow: Low water requirements, lots of sun.  Give this plant some room and it will reseed.  I have a pink yarrow and think it is beautiful!   I am not so fond of the yellow ones.  You can trim this one before it sets the flower buds to get it to bloom shorter.

Pink yarrow

Pink yarrow in bloom