Today I want to give you a sampling of what’s blooming now in our Wild Garden and Sun Garden areas. The Wild Garden is so named because the plants in there are beneficial to butterflies, bee and other pollinators. We also do minimal deadheading of blooms, leaving the seeds for birds which love them in late summer and fall. Many plants are blooming there now, and here are a sampling of them.
We have several different type of Bee Balm and all are blooming now. The wild one with light purple blossoms (Monarda fistulosa) is a native plant, and was planted in several places when we bought this place. The bees like the non-native types too, and every morning I can see them making the rounds on the flowers. The bumblebees seem to be especially fond of them.
Coreopsis is another native plant we have in the Wild Garden. Some we have planted are cultivars with different colored blooms, and we also have the native lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) with light yellow blossoms.
The Grayhead Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) is another favorite of butterflies, and the birds also love the seed heads when they form. It does self-sow occasionally, though not enough to be a problem. I am guessing the birds eat most of the seeds before they ever fall to the ground.
Another native plant that’s blooming now is the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). We have it along with other Rudbeckia cultivars planted in several spots in the Wild Garden. Prairee Sun is new to us this year and has large two-tone orange and yellow petals on plants that get up to three feet tall. The smaller flowered native version was planted when we moved in, and we have kept it going.
Not nearly as showy, the Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is blooming now and is a favorite nectar source for pollinators. The leaves of the plant also serve as a host plant for the swallowtail butterflies.
Another area with a lot of blooms right now is our Sun Garden. The Sun Garden used to be a shade garden, until our huge elm tree died and we had it cut down. Now it is full of sun-loving perennials and a few annuals in containers.
The Becky Shasta Daisy puts on a show every year, and it is in full bloom right now. The blooms are visited by butterflies, and it is deer resistant which is a must for our gardens since deer are a real problem for us.
We have several different coneflower cultivars planted in the Sun Garden, along with the native Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). They are truly butterfly magnets, though the bees also visit them.
I’ve mentioned the native buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) before, and the blooms on it are about done for now. It was really popular with the bees and other smaller insects when it was in full bloom.
The Stokes Aster (Stokesia laevis) is another native that is in full bloom now. The purple flwoers are a nectar source for butterflies as well as being pretty to look at.
We potted up a few annuals to sit on a metal table in the Sun Garden next to the hydrangeas. This year we have coleus, zinnea, portulaca and impatiens along with a couple of the Shock Wave petunias. They give us summer long bloom and help brighten up the area after the shrubs have finished blooming.
I hope you have enjoyed this peek at some of the things that are blooming now in our gardens. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!