Hope you are enjoying these late summer days in the garden! Here in the Midwest, the first week of September brought us a real heatwave. Yet it still feels like summer is coming to an end much too soon. Although the garden is filled with bright color, the light is different now, the foliage is looking a bit tired, and the ground is very dry. We are hoping for a little rain to help the garden thrive in the weeks to come.
This morning, I danced into the garden very early hoping to avoid the afternoon heat. What a treat for the senses! I was mindful as the birds sang sweetly and the cicadas buzzed louder and louder. Butterflies fluttered from bloom to bloom in the gentle breeze. Oh-so many bees buzzed about doing their important work. The sweet fragrance of the blossoms drew me closer. The morning sun felt warm, rather than hot and sticky. Although there was much work to do, I spent a few moments just ‘being‘ in the garden. So often, we are too busy ‘doing’ in the garden. In these precious moments, under the wide, shady brim of my straw hat, my eyes were smiling and my heart was singing!
Soon, gardenkeeping called and I set to work transplanting a small Blue Mist Bluebeard shrub. The mother plant has been a lovely part of our front yard for many years. It was a gift of friendship from Candy’s garden and has survived our harsh, snowy winters here in USDA Zone 5. Every year, in late summer, this shrub rewards us with beautiful blue flowers and a heavenly fragrance. Best of all, it is just filled with bees! Each time I pass, I notice an abundance of bees landing on almost every stem. They are practically waiting in line for their turn!
Two years ago, we discovered five baby Blue Mist Bluebeard shrubs growing in a raised bed about eight feet away from the mother plant. Oh the joy!! They are now about 15 inches tall, filled with beautiful blue blossoms, and attracting many bees of their own. So this morning, I began transplanting the small shrubs to the backyard, along the white picket fence of my Herb Garden. They are such an attractive shrub all year long with their aromatic, gray-green foliage. Their woody stems will add interest to the picket fence border garden through the winter months.
Most important of all, I hope these shrubs will attract even more bees to my Herb Garden! There is a Bee Bath just inside the picket fence, where the bees can rest upon flat river rocks to sip fresh water. Having a nearby water source will keep the bees happily working in and around my Herb Garden even longer. They won’t have to travel to seek out water. Moving these beautiful shrubs to their new location near the white picket fence should keep the herbs, the bees, and the gardener happy!
If you would like to add a pollinator ‘magnet’ to your garden this Autumn,
I would certainly recommend…
Blue Mist Bluebeard shrub
(Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’)
(Also called Blue Spiraea)
USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9
Deciduous shrub, with gray-green foliage
Plant in full sun
Grows moderately fast, to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
Water regularly for the first year, then it needs only occasional watering
Very heat tolerant
Long blooming, fragrant blue blossoms, late summer until hard frost
Clipping spent blossoms will encourage rebloom
Prune when leaves first appear in the springtime to promote strong, dense growth in the summer
Blooms on new growth
Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, bees, bees!
Every year, the Blue Mist Bluebeard shrub brings us such pleasure in our cottage garden. I love to use its cuttings in flower arrangements. We often stand near this lovely shrub just to watch the busy pollinators at work. The bees seem to stay on the blossoms and haven’t bothered us at all. Don’t plant it too close to your door though. (You don’t want unexpected guests to follow you inside!)
Transplanting the Blue Mist Bluebeard shrubs to the backyard and digging up Rudbeckia plants to share with neighbors this morning created a large, open space in one of our front garden beds.
Perfect timing …
Just yesterday, at the fruit market, a beautiful new plant jumped into our shopping cart. Celosia ‘Intenz,’ with its spiky blooms of brilliant color instantly made me smile! As we walked around in the market, so many other shoppers were smiling at the very same plant in their carts. It felt like we were all part of a secret garden club on wheels! Celosia ‘Intenz‘ is a new, annual plant for this year. It will be fun to enjoy its wonderful blooms in the garden for the remainder of the season. Then I plan to dig it up and bring it inside for the winter. By taking cuttings, I’m hoping to have more new plants for the garden next Spring!
Hope you have a great week ahead!
Wishing all of our American friends a very happy Labor Day!
Enjoy an extra day
plan a cookout,
go to a baseball game,
take a long walk or bike ride,
play in your garden!
Thank you so much for stopping to chat by the garden gate today.
I always enjoy our visits!
P.S. Which plants in your garden attract the most pollinators? Let us know!