The Bold Colors of our Summer Garden
Just a few years ago, this area was unwalkable. Overgrown with brambles and many invasive plants, my husband cleared this area and we created a new garden bed that sits between the main road that runs through our neighborhood and our wooded acerage.
This south facing transition space lends itself well to pollinator plants. Many hardwood trees are host plants for lepidoptera [butterflies and moths] and these insects will need nectar plants once they make it to their adult stage (with the exception of some moths that don't eat as adults).
In just a few years, the perennials have reseeded or spread creating a lush and full cottage garden look. My goal was to provide a riot of color from spring through fall with plants that support pollinators and birds. Another consideration was low maintenance plants because as we continue to expand our gardening space it means more work to keep the garden looking HOA presentable; especially since this is a highly visible area (everyone drives by here in and out of the neighborhood).
This space also became an educational opportunity. My hope was to inspire neighbors, visitors and anyone driving by with plants that are showy, easy to grow and readily available at nurseries. Mostly native plants (straight species and cultivars) were planted with the exception of a few non-natives such as daylilies and gaura. Over the years of working with different organizations, I have found that including a few plants that are commonly found in landscapes or those that non-gardeners recognize helps people [HOA inforcers] feel more comfortable with the design.
Since June is pollinator month and this week specifically is national pollinator week as well as Wildlflower Wednesday, hosted by Clay and Limestone, I thought it would be a good time to share what is blooming here now.
|rudbeckia, echinecia purpurea, asclepias tuberosa, coreopsis spp., gaura|
The purple yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is spreading beautifully and was a good choice to compliment surrounding plants such as tickseed, stokes aster and asclepias tuberosa. As it spreads it will aide in surpressing the weeds that have been plentiful and have required constant attention [pulling] not to reseed.
|Achillea millefolium with Asclepias tuberosa|
|Achillea millefolium with coreopsis|
|Achillea millefolium with Stokesia laevis|
These Hypericum shrubs started as seedlings from our original plant that was propagated at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Gainesville years ago. Unfortunately, I lost the plant tag and don't remember the cultivar name. The daylilies are transplants from another flower bed and original to our landscape. When the homestead verbena bloomed earlier in the season they looked fabulous with the yellow daylilies.
The loud yellows of Rudbeckia laciniata and fulgida. not only pair fabulously with the purples and pinks of other perennials but attract all manner of bees and once pollinated attract the goldfinches with their seed buffet.
|Phlox paniculata is another showy flower with bold color that is magnet for butterflies.|