May — Iris. There is nothing like Iris in the garden. Their blade-like foliage adds complimentary texture to any planting bed. Swords of buds, their tips dipped in color, slice through foliage and flora and then one day unfurl in a splash of paint. Blossoming swirls of purple, yellow, cream, inky veins, and bristling anthers brushed with pollen, beckon bees and artists. I have yet to paint an Iris watercolor. My favorite is Sibirica.
June — Alliums. Alliums add surprise and whimsy to my garden. Slowly their sparkling spheres rise and seemingly float above the garden floor, their nodding heads bouncing in the slightest breeze. From the common chive to the bigger beat of the drumstick to the native nodding onion, all of them turn into rotating, buzzing globes attracting all sorts of bees, wasps, flies and other pollinators. I recently added ‘Summer Beauty’ among my nodding onions for its stronger pink hues.
July — Bee Balm, Monarda. I have several large drifts of Bee Balm. One is pink in color, the others red, given to me by my mother. I would like to add a large patch of Wild Bergamot or Monarda fistulosa. Bee Balm is in fact popular among the bees, and even a small patch of these fireworks guarantees to attract a Hummingbird. How could I not include this among my favorite garden plants when just this week I spied the first Hummingbird Hawk Moth to visit my garden whirring among its blooms? It’s the balm!