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Wild bee balm, some dogbane and other treasures in hazel's well gardens...

July 13th, 2009, 02:47 PM
We've lived here for 4 springs now and I'm finally getting around to working on the well garden. It was pretty weed-ridden... :o

I pulled weeds last fall, then again this spring, and because I've been trying to establish bee balm for two years with no luck, I finally planted some in the well garden. The very day I planted it, I was working on a different area of the garden and what do I see? :rolleyes: You guessed it...wild bee balm!

So now I have a I retransplant the horticultural variety away from the wild plants so as to keep the genetics pure? :shrug: (Any thoughts on the topic would be welcome!)

I'm not entirely sure if it's truly bee balm or if it's purple bergamot, a raspberry-colored variety that is native here...I'm actually leaning toward purple bergamot...but I'll take it! Whatever it is! :D

And, without further ado, a time-lapse sequence of the blooming of a very interesting flower:

July 6

July 7

July 9
You can just see the petals beginning to push up past the bracts here.

July 13th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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These are both from July 11


July 13th, 2009, 02:54 PM
Nice! My thoughts are to plant your "bought" bee balm somewhere else, but of course don't the BEES just cross pollinate it anyway? :)
Hmmm, dilemma.

July 13th, 2009, 02:56 PM
This is another native: Dogbane.
It grows in shady ditches, as well, and this one is actually from out by the road.
The flowers are small but the leaf pattern and stems are very recognizable.
I wait for them to bloom every year--they're so pretty!

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And CearaQC, does this look familiar? :D
Can't get rid of the stuff, but at least now I know I can take it for what ails me! :laughing:

July 13th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Very neat. Will have to do some searching later in my books. It's beautiful no matter what.
I would leave your naturalized one nearby. You never know. You might come up with a new flower. :thumbs up

Dog Dancer
July 13th, 2009, 02:58 PM
What a beautiful flower! I have the bee's if you need them Hazel.

July 13th, 2009, 03:00 PM
And finally, this was a bit of a surprise.
I found it growing along the fence and somehow it survived the weed-whacker.
It looked like it was some sort of Sweet William from the corolla of buds on top:

But it started blooming yesterday and turned out to be some sort of wild primrose!

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I was out walking the front wild area this morning and found two more smaller plants growing in the grasses :thumbs up

July 13th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Ya, I'm not sure where I'd put the nursery bee balm where the native plant would be safe from cross-pollination :shrug: Maybe give it to someone down by the lake? Or maybe I just have to get homebody bees! :laughing:

Are you having a good bee year, Dog Dancer? We're seeing much fewer European honey bees, but a fair number of native wild bees this year :thumbs up

July 13th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Oh, and I can't forget these little beauties. :cloud9:


Baby eastern phoebes! See the beaks? :D

There's at least 3 that I could count...4 - 5 would be more typical, so I 'spect there's one or two hidden in all that downy fluff.

The nest is about 7 feet up on one of the support beams for our deck....

July 13th, 2009, 03:10 PM
Beautiful flowers Hazel..:thumbs up

July 13th, 2009, 03:14 PM
Thanks, breeze. But I specialize in wild flowers--they grow themselves so I can't take any credit! :laughing:

I really can't wait to see what else pops up in that garden now that I've cleared out some weeds :goodvibes: I think there's at least one blazing star in there and maybe some frost asters :fingerscr

July 13th, 2009, 03:20 PM
Thanks, breeze. But I specialize in wild flowers--they grow themselves so I can't take any credit! :laughing:

I really can't wait to see what else pops up in that garden now that I've cleared out some weeds :goodvibes: I think there's at least one blazing star in there and maybe some frost asters :fingerscr

I have no idea what names are for plants,:o I just like the looks of all of them.
and if they are not heavily scented then I can spend all day in the garden just looking at them.

Dog Dancer
July 13th, 2009, 04:12 PM
The bee's are doing very well this year. Finally I think I'll get a good honey crop this fall. I love your little chicks HRP.

July 13th, 2009, 04:20 PM
:laughing: Can't take credit for the chicks, either, DD! They're also wild-grown. :D

Good news on the bees :thumbs up Down here, at least, we're having trouble keeping the hives alive :shrug:

July 13th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Hi Hazel, I also love the natural look of wild flowers, I do not have agreeb thumb, right now so many of them are in bloom at the "lake", DH bought me a plant book a couple of years ago and when stuff starts to bloom I try to take it with me so I can identify them. Lots of purples, yellows and reds are in bloom now. Love the Fireweed plants the blossoms are so pretty.

July 14th, 2009, 12:09 AM
That's what I do, too, patti--me and my book are good friends. :cloud9: And I get this strange feeling of satisfaction when I identify a new flower--like I'm somehow responsible for it being alive :rolleyes: :D

The well garden was planted by the last owner of this house and she seems to have loved the wildflowers, too. Most of what's in there seems to be of the wild variety. And for that, I am extremely grateful. :thumbs up

July 14th, 2009, 01:40 AM
That 1st flower is very pretty, love the pic from July 9 :cloud9:

July 14th, 2009, 08:21 AM
And CearaQC, does this look familiar? :D
Can't get rid of the stuff, but at least now I know I can take it for what ails me! :laughing:

:laughing::laughing: Yes I do recognize that! I found a patch in the lawn underneath the old crab apple tree that was about 5 ft in diameter! I never even noticed before, but we had almost two weeks solid of rain rain rain, and so the lawn grew a lot without being mowed and those flowered. No idea how long they were there being mowed over all the time. :laughing: But I found some back in the woods that are much taller since they are competing for light with the buttercups and all the other wild stuff back there. It seems like a jungle back there with all the rain we got.

I :lovestruck: adore your bee balm! Wish I had some of it.

Don't worry about the mother plant. They propagate themselves by underground runners just like the mint family. You can also take cuttings and root pretty easily if you're concerned, and then plant elsewhere.

I hardly ever see bees on the bee balm here. Usually always hummingbirds! :laughing:

July 14th, 2009, 01:26 PM
Hazel,it looks beautiful,wish I had your wild-flowers and the birds-nest,hope the babies are safe from predators.
My Bee-Balm looks almost like your wild ones,those darn bees have cross-pollinated(sp?),last year they were bright red:sad:
I took a pic,but it's really fuzzy..

July 14th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Oh, I was hoping they propagated by runners, CearaQC! :thumbs up So the mother plant should always bloom true!

I'm hoping I can get the patch big enough to interest my hummers--so far they're still congregating in the hummingbird garden--not enough in the well garden to draw them. Once I figure out exactly what's in the garden (I'm still finding new plants :D) I'll start adding some other hummingbird-friendly natives and see if they find their new diner. :thumbs up

growler, aren't they pretty at that early stage? I think that's my favorites stage, too! There were a few more buds developing when I checked this morning :cloud9:

The birdies are as safe as the Pack can make them, chico. :D The dogs have a pact with birds that eat bugs (the Pack, especially the Sheriff, hates particular, they hate the biting ones). They promised Mr and Mrs E Phoebe that if they helped eat nasty bugs, the Pack would patrol the area around the nest and keep the predators at bay.

And, just as a precaution, because of course the Pack would never do any harm to a baby bird :whistle:, when the babies get close to fledging, we keep the Pack away from that yard. The parents are pretty savvy--the same day the babies fledge, Mom and Dad whisk them off the property and into the jungle across the fence :D

It's a shame that your bee balm came back a different color. If they're the same plants, they should bloom the same color :shrug: One of those many my sweet william, which was hot pink last year and white this year :shrug: Go figure. :o