Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Is Their Time To Shine!

Trillium just beginning to  fade in my backyard
All of my delicate, native spring ephemerals are beginning to fade, the trillium, Virginia bluebells and shooting star… While it’s sad to see them go, summer is when so many of our beautiful natives really shine. This is a perfect time for you to think about adding native perennials to your garden. Pollinators and other beneficial wildlife could really use your help and the lovely summer blooms and butterflies will brighten your day.

Start them young!
Your garden can be a place to share dinner with your friends and family, a quiet retreat at the end of the day and even a classroom. By inviting nature into your garden you will be able to discover the natural world with your children or in my case grandchildren, to teach them to be good stewards. What child wouldn’t be delighted by a hummingbird, a swallowtail butterfly or a cocoon?
Why not join the nation wide celebration of Pollinator Week by having your own Pollinator party? Our partner, The Pollinator Partnership celebrates Pollinator Week the June 15-21. During that time they highlight the importance of pollinators including bees, butterflies, birds and bats. On their website you’ll find planting guides for your specific ecoregion. You can also look up local Pollinator Week events or post your own. They even have fun stuff for kids.

Here are a few of my favorite perennials that really shine in summertime. These are all tough as nails, super easy to grow and will give you long-lasting color. Put them on your shopping list today.

Butterfly Weed
Butterfly weed produces loads of bright orange flower clusters from early summer into autumn. The bright flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a host plant for Grey Hairstreak, Monarch and  Queen butterflies. The dried seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements. This is an essential plant if you want to attract a variety of butterflies to your property, especially Monarchs.

Jeana Garden Phlox
Erect, stiff stems are topped with sweetly scented, lavender-pink flowers from midsummer through early autumn. The flowers are small but there are up to one hundred in each cluster creating a unique tiered effect. Strongly mildew resistant, it attracts hummingbirds and butterflies in huge numbers.

Miss Manners Obedient Plant

'Miss Manners' is aptly named because, unlike many other kinds of obedient plant, this one is clump forming and doesn't spread throughout the garden. Stiff, square stems end in dense spikes of pure white, snapdragon-like flowers, which bloom throughout the summer. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the nectar. Deer tend not to eat this plant.

Iron Butterfly Narrow Leaf Ironweed
A butterfly magnet in late summer,  this vigorous perennial shows off masses of tiny, true purple flowers that attract beneficial insects for a nectar feast. Delicate green foliage gives it a fine texture that is enhanced by grouping. Very tolerant of rough, sandy, infertile, dry soils. 

Slender, upright form makes a vertical statement. Wands of tiny white flowers bloom over an extended period of time in mid to late summer attracting loads of butterflies. Despite the height it won’t need staking. 

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there, Peggy Anne

Many thanks to North Creek Nurseries for the images!


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