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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well we had to do a big foundation wall repair job along the whole side of the house where my old flower bed was. The bed was completely ripped out.
So I really got to start brand new. In a way it was a blessing, as the old bed had gotten somewhat haphazard and I was pretty bored with the flowers in it.

The construction is now over, new path and new soil is in, and I have been amending the soil and planting the new flowers.

I decided to plant mostly flowers that bees will enjoy, or butterflies, hummingbirds. I had a few of the plants already from before, got some others from a friend, and bought some others. It looks a bit scraggly right now because most of the plants have already past their peak or have been dug up from other clumps. But next year everything should come up fresh and nice.

Amongst the plants that I bought from the nursery, I literally had to brush the honeybees off them to get them inside to the register....that revealed a few bee favorites for sure. ;)

Here is what I'm planting:

anise hyssop
heliopsis
catmint
cone flower
sneezeweed
red bee balm
nicotiana (with tiny green hanging bells)
creeping thyme
vervain (verbena)
Russian sage
rose campion
 

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sounds great! if you want a great august flowering background bee friendly plant, joe-pye weed is the best. it can get pretty tall and it needs a lot of water though...rose campion is my favorite, i love the contrast of grey foliage and red flowers...how about some pictures??
 

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We've got joe-pye weed in three places in the yard. Full sun all day and no water and that clump is darn near 7-8' tall. The others get a little more shade and water and are only about 5-6'. It must be a morning nectar plant as honeybees only gather there before 10 or so, after that it's all bumbles and butterflies, so it seems.

The beebalm attracts hummers like crazy, and they get territorial as all get out. If it's on "their" patch they chase it away whether its another hummer, wasp, or honey bee.

Omie, cage the catnip now. Every cat in the neighborhood seems to visit my yard for that alone. Drives my cats crazy since they're indoor only and drives me crazy cause they're destroying the plantings! We used tomato cages but the cats are pretty good at getting what they want. Anything for a fix I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! :)

There is joe pye weed growing in this area in the fields, etc. Totally too large for the modest strip of flower bed I put in alongside the house though! ;)

Stripstrike- it's not catnip, it's catmint. Cats do like catmint, but it doesn't drive them into wanton fits of psychedelic mayhem the way catnip does. I do have some catNIP growing in my well-fenced-in raspberry patch. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well here is a picture of the bed with all the plants I listed above. But you have to realize that this is a Fall planting in a brand new bed, so many of the plants are just pruned down to bare sturdy stems, like the beautiful red bee balm and the heliopsis. All young plants and divided clumps. Hopefully they will all come up nice and full next Spring. :) Most of these I have grown before and they are pretty easy to grow.
You can see I dont really have room for 7 foot tall stand of Joe Pye weed! ;D
But what there is will all be treats for the bees. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
P.S. it's a big improvement over what it looked like last month:


Do ya think I prepared the soil deep enough for the catmint? :lpf:
 

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We have a garden with catmint, joe-pye weed and cone flower, but the most popular by far is globe thistle. Each "globe" will have several honey bees on it. They bloom about the time our flow is over (August 1) and the bees are on them all day long and into the evening.

You can cut the heads off before the seeds fall to keep more from coming up. They are easy to grow, like hot places and you can start them easily from the seeds in the heads. The favorite honey bee flower that we have for late summer.
 

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Catnip and Catmint are used interchangeably ..the Nepeta genus has actually a lot of different cultivars some of which are more potent feline fixes than others. Nepeta cataria seems to be the more potent strain for the kitties (and it can spread like mad as it will root by means of layers as well it is a highly prolific self seeder.)

If you are getting the plant, look for the latin name and not the common name as catnip and catmint get swapped like crazy.

I have Nepeta cataria through out my yard so every time we mow.. we get visitors. When it does bloom, I do cut part of it back and it triggers more more stems, more blooms.

The honey bees do like it, and bumble bees. Just make sure you like it.. or really like weeding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't forget to plant some Seedum. The bees will absolutley cover this in the fall.
Um....where you reading my mind??
Several days ago I used my discount coupons to get two big pots of sedum- one for each side of the garage door on the hottest sun side. Variety "Cloud Walker". The plants were very heavy and large to plant.

Here is one of the two in place, and of course next year it will expand and I can root cuttings from them to put into other spots as well. Yes, the bumbles and the honeybees were all going NUTS over it! :D
This photo was taken right before dusk.



Drey- yes I have grown both 'real' catnip (cataria) and also the more ornamental and dainty catmint for years. I have my big rough catnip plants out on the backside of the shed where they can grow all they want. I put the pretty "Walker's Low" catmint in this new bed to grow in mounds near the edges. From three big pots I bought, I divided into 9 nice sized plugs before planting, and now two weeks later they are sending up lots of bushy new shoots after I trimmed the old ragged stems back. You can see them to the right of the sedum in this new photo, with their fresh new sprouts showing.

The anise hyssop blooms are winding down but still bee-attractive, and the vervain/verbena is having a new burst of growth and flowers. The Russian sage is still attracting lots of bees too.
Oh, and you can see I threw in one brown-eyed Susan there too...taller and airier than the usual black eyed Susan rudbeckia. Had to use up the last of my coupons! ;)

We had some leftover mulch and we just mulched the new bed to tuck it in for the winter. :D
 

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Looks great! I have Bluebeard Caryopteris blooming like mad now and the bees, bumbles and butterflies are all over it. It starts leafing out so slow in the Spring that you'll think it didn't make it. What a bloomer! Perennial.

You can tuck some fall bulbs in there also for Spring bloom.
 

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Omie.. it wasn't a dig or anything.

Catmint is a general term for the genus Nepeta.. of which there are 4 species that have cultivars that are tossed in under the umbrella of catnip. Catnip just implies higher nepetalactone content, of which N. cataria is considered the "true" catnip.. but not the only Nepeta species sold as catnip.

Only really matters if you are looking to find a kitty fix.. trying to keep strains from crossing.. or after the hybrids with sterile seeds. (some nepeta species are crossed and refined to get all the flower power & beauty.. but sterile seeds so they don't run quite as rampantly. They spread by roots, layering, cuttings, etc.. which still means they wander and expand in the garden, but easier to control.)

Sorry.. gardening geek heading back to my corner and being quiet now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Drey,
No, i didn't think you were giving a 'dig' or anything- you being nothing but helpful, with good information! :)

Yes there is often much confusion between 'catmint' and 'catnip'. I know and love both plants. I keep my catmint growing in low mounds in the flower beds.
I have a single large tall catnip (cataria) plant in the raspberry patch, behind a tall mesh fence. I'm about to harvest the tops soon and dry them for my (indoor) cats. they love catnip. :p

My Verbena bonariensis is really going to town in the new bed now- lots of new flowers. The hyssop is getting a second wind and bees and butterflies are all over it.
 
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