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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

Vicki Green's Garden

Vicki Green's garden is one of the neatest and most immaculate gardens I've seen and it is a showcase for beautifully grown plants as well as art objects (she is a glass artist). The property was once wall-to-wall grass and now just a central portion is devoted to the green. A long pathway leads you around the perimeter of the garden adorned with lush plantings.

Vicki is a master at pruning and her technique reminds me of the way Michael does it. She has trained many of her "shrubs" into small trees, such at the waxleaf privet and elderberry.

A Wax Leaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum) trained into an attractive small tree.

I was taken aback by the size of the plants, some of which I grow, and my mind was racing. Driving up, I was immediately wowed by her 'Golden Spirit' Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) although now I do recall seeing a very large on 117th St. However, this one is the most beautiful I've seen -

I also was surprised to see how large her 'Lemony Lace' Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is -

A stunning Rodgersia

Many thanks to Vicki Green for opening her garden. It was a visual feast and provided many great ideas.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You'r right, that Rogersia is stunning, especially with the backdrop of that blue fir....

  2. Thanks for the photos! I really wanted to visit Vicki's garden but just couldn't get up to Vancouver that day.

  3. I can only dream of a garden that meticulously maintained. I've always admire the 'Golden Spirit' Cotinus and would plant one in a second if they looked half that good in my climate.

  4. Such a beautifully maintained and immaculate garden. Love that Rogersia.

  5. how large was the Rodgersia?


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