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: