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The Plants Bees Love

In this day and time, I would hope gardeners understand the importance of bees and other insects in the garden. However, from time to time, a person comes into the nursery and asks for plants that will NOT attract bees (sigh). They are not really gardeners though, they are just looking for a plant to fill a space. I find myself more and more intrigued by bees although I don't know that much about the different types. I do make note of plants that they like and try to add as many as I can to the garden. Over the past weeks, with watering a daily activity amidst a lingering heat-wave, I've conducted an informal survey and noted the plants that they seem to like the most. Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) is one of my favorite perennials and the bees love it too. I don't think I've ever seen a butterfly on it but we don't seem to have many of those. Everybody wants the "Showy Milkweed" (Asclepias speciosa) but I knew

More Winter Interest Plants

Beautyberry (Callicarpa)

As we hunker down and await whatever the Weather Gods send - freezing rain and snow coming later this afternoon - I'm taking stock of the remaining plants that bring some interest in the garden this time of year. I previously wrote about conifers and evergreen trees and shrubs. Here are a few more, some that are not evergreen at all, but offer drama in the form of structure and form.

Evergreen Clematis (Clematis armandii)

It got really cold last night - around 20 and today's high is only 21! I covered a few things - a eucalyptus that I planted late in the summer, the loquat tree and I brought the African Boxwood into the garage. Everything else will have to fend for itself. We were mainly concerned about our beloved hummingbirds. I brought in the feeders last night and got up earlier than usual to put them back out. Michael tried wrapping them in fabric so we will see how that works. 

Azara microphylla


'Foxtail' Rosemary

The retaining wall along the driveway with Strawberry Tree (Arbutus), Weeping Alaska Cedar, cotoneaster, creeping Rosemary 'Irene' and more.

Heathers ('Multi-Color' and 'Firefly')

Clematis 'Bill MacKenzie'

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


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