Mid June bloom report – and a bee update

Once again it’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (hosted as always by gracious Carol of May Dreams Gardens) and since it’s June it would probably be easier to show what’s not in bloom – but I would never do that to you. Around here you don’t even need your eyes to know what’s in bloom. The prevailing scent on the wind is Rosa multiflora. None of us should be the least bit proud to have it on our property – I have to admit that it infests a hedge of mine – but that fragrance is truly divine and it’s difficult enough to get rid of that I think we’re stuck with it. But keep your eyes closed – there are other much less obnoxious highly scented treats in bloom today too – things like the sweet peas which have just begun in earnest and the mock orange. And now open up because there are all of the other things we grow simply because we’re visually attracted to the flowers.

Rosa multifloraSweet pea 'Zinfandel' and 'Painted Lady'Sweet pea 'Cupani'Philadelphus 'Manteau D' Hermine' Mock orange

The empty bee tree Our love of flowers, whether for the scent or the looks of them works out well for the pollinators who are viscerally attracted to many of our same favorites. I have been a little worried about the bees. Last year Colony Collapse Disorder was all over the news but the wild honeybee hive in the stumped Horsechestnut was still active. This year it’s empty. I don’t know what happened to them – maybe they’ve moved off. There are other living hives on the property and it’s always possible that they found a new home. But I can’t help suspecting that they came down with CCD, scattered and died. I have had trouble finding honeybees working our flowers – I finally spotted one on the goutweed near a hive by the Rock Garden. There were none in the Cutting Garden, none on the clover in the grass and it’s truly a beautiful, sunny, bee positive day out there. Gail thinks that we just don’t have enough annuals blooming yet for them and they’re elsewhere on the property. I want to be optimistic too so the only thing to do is to keep planting flowers. And then plant a few more flowers.

Verbascum 'Southern Charm'Osteospermum - Soprano Lilac Spoon Astrantia 'Hadspen's Blood'Cup and saucer campanulaAllium 'Hair'

We have seen a few other pollinators out and about. A hummingbird has found its way into the greenhouse a couple of times in the last week and poor Lilah disturbed a bumblebee ground nest. She took her sting well and we’ve taken care to protect the hive entrance. We need these guys – all of them, and I hope that the healthy colonies stay healthy and produce enough heirs and spares to inherit our flowery fortune.

bee on the goutweed (Aegopodium)

Have you noticed a decline in your pollinator populations too?

6 thoughts on “Mid June bloom report – and a bee update

  1. about bees, we are worrying in N Utah about the African bees that have been found in Southern Utah. not here yet. the number of pollinators is hard to determine, I think I’d like to get/make one of those wooden drilled holes/bee homes for the individual bees. love your flowers, esp the pic of the bench w/ groundcover……….

    Thanks, Muum – the bench is one of my favorite seats though I suppose if it were busy with bees it wouldn’t be as inviting… Those solitary bee hives are very cool and you’ve reminded me that I’ve been wanting one too! -kris

  2. Hi Kris, I have been wondering where they are hiding…I see the lone bumbles but few honeybees and I have a fair amount of attractive to bee plants blooming….We’ll see as the monarda, liatris and coneflowers really start to flower.

    Gail, I hope our populations recover soon – it’s hard to imagine a coneflower without a bee on top. Fingers crossed. -kris

  3. I don’t know my honeybees from my other bees, but there has been a lot of buzzing in general around my yard already this year! I’ll have to do some research so I can start to tell them apart… then I can answer you for sure on the honeybees.

    I’m beginning to think that my ‘Hadspen’s Blood’ was mismarked at the nursery, because mine is not that gorgeously intense shade of wine-red. And your Zinfandel sweet peas are beautiful… any chance that they’re scented, too? (I know the Cupanis are amazing, since I actually grew them a few years back. 🙂

    Oh, and I ADORE that thyme bench by the mock orange! WOW!

    Kim, Now you’ve got me wondering about my astrantia i.d. … I’m pretty sure that’s Hadspen’s Blood and it is fairly stressed out which might account for deeper coloration… And yes, Zinfandel is scented though the Cupanis are among the most highly scented so we always tuck a few in for good measure. -kris

  4. Hmmmm (or should I say Bzzzzz), I haven’t noticed a decline, but I’ve seen more bumblebees than anything. We’ve had about 3 give up the bee ghost on our porch in fact. If they aren’t there, it’s not for lack of your gorgeous flowers–interesting choices! I especially like the lilac spoon with that sparkly blue center. Your ‘Southern Charm’ gives me hope that I’ll see my seeds sown this year bloom next spring. Hope your bees have just taken the scenic route and show up soon.

    Lynn, That’s good news – we love the bumbles too (although Lilah is now less of a fan of them…) and maybe our honeybees just haven’t sent a scout out in this direction yet – it’s actually good news if they’re finding flowers elsewhere! – kris

  5. No, you’re probably right… Kylee at Our Little Acre says that her ‘Hadspen’s Blood’ is just as deep/dark as yours, and she and I bought ours at the same time during one of her visits to Cleveland. I’m afraid that I actually have ‘Roma’ or some other paler astrantia. *sigh*

    Thanks for the info about the ‘Zinfandel’ sweet peas. I forget to plant them half the time, but I think I’ll stick with the wonderfully scented Cupanis when I remember. 🙂

    Kim, That’s too bad because I know you love the deep burgundies and the paler astrantias may verge into the pinkish range… I love them all and am sad that we lost our pale ones… And you can’t beat cupani – but how could you ever forget to plant them?! -kris

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