Today I thought I would share some of the things we have blooming here in late May. First up is the catmint growing in the Wild Garden. It’s been blooming for several weeks now, and the bees are loving it. I have a pot of Tidal Wave Hot Pink petunias growing in the middle of the catmint to give a little extra color and provide a few more blooms for the bees and butterflies. The Wild Garden is full of plants that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators.
The bees are also loving the spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) plants that are blooming nearby. The one in the below photo came from my wife’s house, one of many plants we moved with us when we moved to Happy Acres ten years ago. Some consider it a weed, but this native plant is easy to grow and pretty mild-mannered in our garden.
The individual flowers only last for a day, but new ones open up every morning, and the bees are busy working them for pollen and nectar. Both bumble bees and honeybees were visiting the morning I captured the below image. You can see the clusters of flower buds waiting in line for their day in the sun.
The hollyhocks are just now beginning to bloom. These are an heirloom variety I got from the Seed Savers Exchange called Outhouse, and they have large single blossoms in shades of white, pink and red. They’re a biennial, I set out the plants last year and they are just now showing the first blooms. The bees and butterflies should love them like the spiderwort, plus the plant serves as a host for the Painted Lady butterfly.
Also starting to bloom are the purple coneflowers (Echinacea). We have quite a few plants scattered around, and they are also popular with the bees and butterflies. They self sow quite readily, and we are always digging up new ones and moving them around in the garden to fill up any bare spots.
A little less showy, but just as popular with pollinators are the blooms from the culinary sage Holt’s Mammoth. I have several sage plants in the Wild Garden, including a pineapple sage that will bloom in late summer and is a hummingbird magnet.
Another popular plant with butterflies and bees is agastache (anise hyssop).
Over in the Sun Garden, the Brandywine Viburnum is blooming. This native plant attracts both butterflies and birds, and is deer-resistant too.
The clusters of white flowers are pretty now, but the real attraction will be the pink and purple berries that appear in early autumn.
More white blooms are in the Shade Garden. The astilbes are just beginning to flower, and every year they light up the shade garden when they bloom. We got these plants from our friend Barbara, and when she was in town visiting last month she got some starts to move them to her new garden in Washington state. She had already moved them twice before, from her in-laws in the Northeast to her former home in Virginia and then on to Indiana. It is nice to share plants with friends, and many of ours have either come from others or have been shared.
And last but not least, I’ll close with a pic of the Tidal Wave Purple petunias I have planted in an antique wheelbarrow. I brought it with me when I moved to Happy Acres from my farm in Kentucky, and I have planted it with Wave petunias every year since.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of the bloomers of May here at Happy Acres. I’ll be back soon with more happenings!