Spending time in the last couple of months on family affairs exhausted me both physically and mentally and didn’t leave much time left for anything else. I retreated to Instagram @petalsandwingsimages as my outlet since I didn’t have to spend time correcting images on PhotoShop. Now, as the dust settled, I’m back.
With plenty of rain in early spring, the garden has grown pretty fast and the flowers have responded well, especially the irises. I don’t water irises regularly like the other plants so with plenty of rain they bloom in abundance.
All these irises either re-bloom or are fragrant or both. With good weather, I should see most of their flowers again in October.
A Good Time For Planning: Flowers For Pollinators I
Snow came down two days ago accumulating just three inches. Today the garden is still covered with snow and the temperature dropped down to just above 10°F. It’s a perfect winter day for bird watching through the patio door. Since the ground is covered with snow and the sources of water around here have turned to ice, they congregate around our feeders and heated birdbaths. It’s also a good day to start planning for the next growing season.
The plant catalogs have been piling up. I have picked out a couple of new vegetables I want to try and am now looking for flowers that bees and butterflies will like. A new Cosmos ‘Cupcake’ looks very tempting. I have already put 200 crocus in this autumn. If they haven’t all been dug up by the squirrels and chipmunks they should blossom when spring arrives. Any new plants I choose I make sure will benefit all pollinators, not just honeybees. If I have to pick and choose however, flowers for the bees will come first.
Here are some plants that work for our pollinator garden and I start with flowers:
These are just some of the flowers I managed to photograph with honeybees on them. There are many more flowers that they like- crocus, snowdrop, Black-eyed Susan. Next post will be on herbs and vegetables that I allow to flower, both as a pollinators food source and as the next season’s seeds.
The bulb boys are first in spring. Behind them, the rise of the rhizomes bringing on the bearded Iris. If you calculate correctly, you will have flowers blooming in the garden all season long from spring to frost. Most of our flowers from bulbs are already gone. What we have now are the Bearded Irises, Lilac, Clematis Montana and Columbines.
Princess Beatrice (Iris pallida), this lavender blue Iris came with the house, a lot of them. I had separated and replanted them after a few years, creating another row by the pool fence. That may have been a mistake. We have a tough time sitting on the patio or pool deck when they are in full bloom. Their fragrance is too strong. This year, luckily, the row by the garage walkway bloomed first. The ones by the pool fence are just budding.
I love their blade-like leaves, especially in the morning when they are graced with dew. The dewdrops gather like a string of diamonds along the edge of the leaves and glisten in the sunlight. They are also drought tolerant. The row next to the garage is partially under the roof so they hardly get any rain. I water them once in a while when it’s really hot and dry, and they are thriving. Most of them bloom once per season but I have one that re-blooms in the fall, Lenora Pearl. We had a freak snow storm in October last year but this re-bloomer weathered that too. My task now is to search for more varieties of the them.