In a Vase, on Monday – just for pollinators

Each Monday, Cathy, in her blog Rambling in the Garden, hosts vases full of colour from around the world. Today, I thought I’d feature a few of the flowers I grow to encourage and feed some of the many pollinators in my summer garden. I wanted to start with the mighty Zinnia – annuals I started growing from seed three summers ago. I was impressed by their many colours, drought tolerance and longevity – both in the ground and in a vase. Plus, their leaves are the easiest of all to strip off, with one gentle swoop of the index finger and thumb. Zinnia seems to be a favourite of swallowtail butterflies.

I also wanted to feature a new-to-me perennial – Agastache. I started from seed A. ‘Licorice’ this spring and it’s just this week looking like all the web photos I’ve seen. It never dawned on me that this was a member of the mint family, but its square stems gave it away. I’m hoping it’s not quite the garden thug other mints are, but even if it is, the faint and appealing anise fragrance will keep me happy. I grew this because I read it’s a bee magnet but my bees have yet to discover the blooms. Here it is in the garden:

I finished the vase with a tried and true bee magnet – Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy.’ I have many clumps in various garden beds; it’s one of the few perennials that seem quite happy with how dry our summers can be. Here’s a photo from the garden, taken last September, after the florets have taken on some colour:


  1. What a lovely ‘shape’ your vase of blooms is, Chris. Good to know you have had success with zinnias too, and agastache _ I grew a variety of the latter from seed last year but I find it is quite late to start flowering. But it is alive and it is flowering, so that’s a good thing!

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  2. I expect your pollinators are very happy. I love the agastache and will have to try growing it from seed myself as I’ve had mixed results with nursery-grown plants. My seed-grown zinnias are far more resilient than those planted from nursery plugs.

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  3. I normally don’t sow many seeds but Zinnias were planted this year and voila I have beautiful zinnias. I like they way you arranged them in your vase. They look great. Agastache seems to be one of the “it” flowers right now. I don’t have luck growing them. Maybe I should try seeds.

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    1. Thank you Lisa – I was pleasantly surprised that the Agastache grew and bloomed to readily the first year. One of the selling points for Zinnias is their seeds are large and easy to collect for next year.


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