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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

Cool Photos Before the Heat

Catalpa 'Aurea' - I just discovered that the flowers are
 quite fragrant, similar to honeysuckle.

The heat wave lingers - today we reached 100 and tomorrow is expected to go higher. The one thought that keeps me from wanting to jump off the nearest bridge is that I remember Alabama where it is always like this. Although the heat breaks a bit on Wednesday, the long-term forecast shows temps in the mid to upper 80s. This isn't really "back to normal" at all! It is disgusting and even Michael, who said he would never make another move after this one, is wanting to move to the coast! 

In the meantime, here are some cooling shots taken in the days before the inferno hit.

Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst' and 'Sea Foam' Rose
 with a bloom from Clematis durandii peeking in.

Outside the front window is a mix of heathers ('Firefly' and 'Multicolor'), Allium 'Millenium', Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' in a pot and annual snapdragon. The snapdragon usually will last all summer but who knows what will happen in the current conditions. This is my favorite variety, which is a peachy color but it appears more red in the heat.

Roses 'Lady of Shallot', 'Lyda', 'Rozanne' geranium and Dappled Willow 'Hakuro Nishiki'.

Stay cool!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Your garden is looking lush and lovely Phillip! Re: Michaels possibly moving again, your comment reminded me of something a friend who moved here from Nebraska once said "If I'd have wanted temperatures like this I would have moved to Phoenix"...

  2. Your garden looks like a paradise! You have so many beautiful specimens and color compositions. Having just moved here from Colorado, I'll take the heat here any day compared to intense sunny heat in a high desert = fire danger.

    1. Thank you Ardith! At least it isn't humid like it was in the South. But we really hate the heat and I worry that the climate change will affect our ability to grow the beautiful things the region is known for.

  3. I know how hard it is to face wilted and burned foliage and flowers following a heatwave, Phillip. I hope your heatwave is waning. The garden will of course spring back in time.

  4. Oh wow. Your garden is in full bloom. And it does look cool, especially as here in Minnesota we are having 86F which is not normal for us. Stay cool too!

  5. Hmm, I think my comment was consumed by ? Taylor's sunburst is glorious, love the color & texture so much. Such wonderful combinations you have, the last shot does make me feel cooler. Hope you got through it unscathed!

  6. Another cool-weather fan here. I hate summer! I hope your garden wasn't too damaged by that terrible heat--that last photo especially, so lovely!


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