Garden Wrap-up for 2019

Garden Wrap-up for 2019
Fall is within sight, so this is a good time to take a look back at the 2019 gardening season.

Al lot of things went really well. The pansies and johnny jump-ups I planted in the fall of 2018 just kept blooming into July. At that point, I finally decided to replace them with some annuals.

The 2019 gardening season was a very good year for pollinators judging by the number of different species that visited my flowers. There were assorted butterfly species that loved the marigolds. At certain times of day, the bumblebees were also on the marigolds, but for the most part they seemed to prefer the ever blooming Mexican heather, a type of cuphea.

I grew a golden flowered anise hyssop, which was popular among the very small wild bees. But, the plant wasn’t nearly as free flowering as the ordinary anise hyssop that I have grown from seed in the past.

The vivid pink portulaca bloomed reliably all season. However, for whatever reason, the pollinators largely ignored these flowers. Yet, the portulacas are supposed to be good pollinator plants.

The purplish flowered butterfly bush attracted a number of different kinds of pollinators, including a hummingbird moth.

The Diamond Frost euphorbia, which is a Proven Winners variety, was very floriferous. Very tiny wild bees and other small insects seemed to visit these flowers to some degree.

So far as the pollinators were concerned, the most attractive flowers were those of the Mexican heather. Bumblebees loved these blossoms as did the wood bees, which look somewhat like a bumblebee, along with various kinds of bees, including honey bees and wild bees.

The black eyed susan blossoms were especially popular among the butterflies. Compared to the summer of 2018, these plants didn’t bloom near as long. This might possibly have been due to the very hot dry summer we had.

Early in the spring, the azaleas bloomed very well. I recall seeing one butterfly that had overwintered come out to visit the azalea flowers.

The crape myrtle is continuing to bloom for months. Some bees are attracted to the flowers. I don’t recommend crape myrtles to gardeners wanting very tidy landscapes because these trees seem to drop a lot of debris, including flower petals and seed-like things as well.

On the whole, the daylilies weren’t nearly as free flowering as they are in most years. Again, that might have been due to the hot dry weather, which also turned the grass very brown looking.

Early on, the bee balms were just beautiful with lots and lots of blooms. As the summer became more intense, they produced fewer blooms.

The smoke bush is still in bloom and is a very attractive, reliable shrub that blooms most of the summer. Both the flower spikes and leaves are very lovely.

The red maples and the other spring flowering trees seemed to bloom very freely. Some of the later blooming species experienced a set back when unseasonably cold spring weather stuck around much longer than usual.

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