30 Aug 2013
The front edge of the butterfly garden has exploded into bloom in the last couple of weeks. Between the flowers in the butterfly garden and the numerous pumpkin and luffa blossoms, there are so many bumblebees that they drunkenly bump into me as I walk around.
The black-eyed susans are such a delight. They are my mother’s favorite flower and she admires them every time she comes over. Strange that last November these were just tiny rosettes of leaves, no larger than a silver dollar.
The echinacea took its sweet time blooming, probably because it’s in partial shade.
The hit of late summer is definitely the dotted horsemint. I have never grown this before and didn’t know that apparently you’re supposed to chop it down every few months so it doesn’t get leggy. I didn’t know this, so mine grew 4′ tall and then promptly fell over. It looks like an elephant stepped in the middle of the stand and pushed them all flat. Then they just started growing upwards again. The plant looks kind of ridiculous, but the blooms are so intricate and lovely.
They are also attracting insects like madness. I have seen flying insects, especially wasps, that I have never seen before in my life. When the sun in shining there is an audible buzzing swarm around these blooms. They’re way too fast for me to capture with the camera, unfortunately. There are some small butterflies around, but mostly it’s wasps and small native bees.
The chunk I sheet mulched in the spring is ready to plant, just in time for the native plant sale in October. Then we will sheet mulch another 100 sq ft chunk this fall to plant in the spring. Sheet mulching a smaller area at a time, timed so it’s ready to plant twice a year, hopefully will keep this project manageable. I wasted a lot of money last year buying plants before there was any place to put them in the ground.