I have just realised how many of the flowers in the garden at the moment are either yellow or purple. It was not intentional. These perennial sunflowers were only used as a temporary filler to separate me from the next garden where I am creating a new border where trees have been removed.
I have enjoyed them so much and they have survived so well in this extra hot year that they have won their place to stay.
The Verbena bonariensis work well with them and I am finding more self-seeded babies that I will mix with them for next year.
The sunflowers provide the perfect backdrop for my Salvia amistad which are a new addition to my salvias this year.
The Salvia amistad is planted beside the Salvia uliginosa, also in its first year. I saw it last year in a post by the Anxious Gardener but as it is pale blue it is not really allowed in this post.
I could not imagine the Salvia Amistad being such a favourite with the bees but it must contain a lot of nectar as the bees completely disappear down the flower to remain there for some time before emerging looking very self-satisfied.
The bumbles prefer the shorter flowers of the uliginosa but I have seen them find another way to reach the nectaries by pushing aside the sepals like this bee above is doing. Trying to walk down the throat of the flower is not an option for the fat bumble bees.
My Cosmos sulphureus was also an after thought this year and I put the seeds down late into any space that had a patch of soil vacant.
Their bright patches are a magnet for all sorts of bees and some are already setting seed which I will leave for the birds to feast on. I will also be keeping enough seed for next year too as these ideal fillers and brighteners.
My blue (they look purple to me) geraniums are starting to emerge from where the hot sun has been keeping them at bay. These are the true geraniums and provide pollen for the bees, not like the stiff pelargoniums that are frequently grown as potted plants over here but have no attraction for bees or pollinators.
I have a Clematis “Korean Beauty” growing at the moment. My sister, who loves clematis, gave me the seeds which I have dutifully germinated. I find clematis infuriating as I try to guide them to a more upright orderly pattern but they usually end up forming tangled balls of untidy growth. Then when I try and sort them out I end up snipping the wrong stem and finish with a flowering spray of clematis in one hand and a stunted looking plant left in the ground.
However, Korean Beauty has won her place in the garden because the bees love her and I like watching their antics as they search for the nectar. The bumble bee above could hardly wait for the flower to open so that it could get first in line for the nectar.
My first sowing of Phacelia in the vegetable patch has finished. It has stood guard over the saffron and kept the area virtually weed free. Now I am waiting for the saffron shoots to appear.
The experiment worked so well that I have sown another patch on the vegetable garden where some lettuce and greens have finished. It is fun to watch the bees with purple pollen.
I have been thinking about native flowers and although I try and pull out as much of the Mallow sylvestris that I can, I wonder if I am being too harsh. It can be very invasive but perhaps I should find a legal corner for it.
I did sow some common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) last year because of its attraction for pollinators but time will tell if I will regret doing this.
My tradescantia has just started to flower for the second time this year with its purple petals and yellow tipped stamens. And I must not forget to mention the little purple flowers of the nepeta pushing into the picture from the side. The nepeta is a real workhorse of a flower for a hot dry garden and has, of course, purple flowers.