Virginia Bluebells are pink in bud and the nodding bells turn a bright lavender-blue as they open above blue-green foliage. The leaves usually turn yellow and disappear by mid summer, so it is best to use these with other, later, shade perennials. In a moist setting they will slowly colonize a large area.
Eastern Bee Balm produces pinkish-lavender flowers in early summer. The form is like a little lavender crown on the ends of the light purple stems. Butterflies and insects rely on this native member of the Mint family for food, so you get more than just flowers when Monarda bradburiana is in your garden. Dry site tolerant and fragrant foliage. This is Stephanie Cohen's favorite Monarda particularly for meadow applications. One of the native plants chosen by Piet Oudolf for the newly planted meadow garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens.
Grand Parade™ ('ACrade') Bee Balm is a new Monarda introduction from those tireless folks at the Morden Research Experiment Station, with large magenta-purple flowers in July and August, over short disease resistant foliage. Butterfly and bee attractant.
'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm has bright red flowers in mid summer that attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' is a mildew-resistant introduction from Itsaul Plants, found originally in Georgia.
Petite Delight™ ('Acpetdel') Bee Balm has lavender-pink flowers in July and August on a compact disease-resistant plant. It is dry site tolerant when established. From Lynn Collicut of the Morden Research Station in Manitoba, Canada.
Sugar Buzz® 'Bubblegum Blast' Bee Balm has an amazing number of bright pink flowers starting in July. The Sugar Buzz® series from Hans Hanson and Walters Gardens is notable for the compact habit and the excellent mildew resistance. The 2" blooms are held on strong upright stems, so Monarda didyma 'Bubblegum Blast', works especially well in containers as well as perennial borders. The showy flowers are a great source of nectar for both hummingbirds and pollinators.
Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' Bee Balm is one of a series of new showy Monardas from Walters Gardens of Michigan. The large cherry red flowers are produced mid to late summer over disease resistant dark green foliage. The stems are sturdy and upright, so Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' makes an excellent cut flower. Pollinators and hummingbirds cluster around the blooms, and the aromatic foliage is also attractive. Unlike some taller Monardas, Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' does not overrun the whole perennial bed.
Sugar Buzz® ‘Grape Gumballs’ Bee Balm is covered with magenta purple 2” flowers in mid to late summer. The foliage is dark green and very disease resistant, as well as deer resistant. Monarda didyma ‘Grape Gumballs’ comes from the Sugar Buzz® series developed by Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens. Its compact clean habit makes this Bee Balm a great addition to perennial borders, as well as being a good candidate for summer containers.
PRN Preferred: The compact habit, clean foliage and large showy purple blooms are a winning addition to mixed perennial beds.
Sugar Buzz® 'Pink Frosting' Bee Balm is another heavy blooming mildew resistant winner from Walters Gardens Sugar Buzz® series of Monardas. The flowers appear in mid summer and cover the aromatic green foliage. The color is a strong lavender pink and the habit is compact making it a good candidate for containers. The showy blooms attract lots of wildlife to the garden, but not deer which do not like Bee Balm.
Sugar Buzz™ 'Rockin' Raspberry' Bee Balm is another lovely selection from Hans Hansen's hybridizing work at Walters Gardens. The vivid raspberry purple flowers appear in July and cover the compact green foliage into August, especially if deadheaded after the initial bloom. The foliage is dark green, aromatic and mildew resistant. Combined with the compact size and habit, these qualities make Monarda didyma Sugar Buzz™ 'Rockin' Raspberry' a great addition to perennial borders.
PRN Preferred: Showy raspberry purple flowers crown the dark green disease resistant foliage.
Wild Beramot is a lovely native perennial that thrives in prairie conditions and poor soil sites. The pinking lavender tube-like flowers are held in a circle around the bracts, and persist through mid to late summer. The aromatic foliage is deer resistant and smells minty when brushed against. Monarda fistulosa is a good addition to wild flower gardens and prairie gardens. Wild Bergamot is a reliable self-seeder and a wonderful butterfly and hummingbird attractor. Attracts many pollinators, including clearwing hawk moths.
Horsemint or Spotted Bee Balm is a native which flourishes in sandy or well drained sites. The tubular creamy pink flowers are spotted with purple, but their pinkish green lanceolate bracts are really the attention grabbers. The circular flower clusters extend up the purplish stems for an extended time in July and August, providing important food for butterflies, pollinators and hummingbirds. The leaves are narrow and fragrant when touched. Monarda punctata gets the common name Horsemint because it used to be used as medicine for horses.
Nova™ 'Flame' Mukgenia is an intergeneric cross between Bergenia and Mukdenia. This amazing hybrid was accomplished by Terra Nova® Nurseries, with Bergenia fertilized by Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans'. Nova™ 'Flame' combines some of the best qualities of both parents, with the lustrous leathery leaf of Bergenia with the delicate and reddish margins of Mukdenia. Because the leaves are thicker than those of Mukdenia, they last longer into late fall, with their lovely color intensifying with the cooler temperatures. The flowers resemble those of Bergenia, with bright pink flower clumps on reddish stems in April and May.
‘Cat’s Pajamas’ starts blooming in late spring and continues all summer if periodically sheared after blooming. The numerous flowers on this compact plant are an intense blue and this improved Catmint blooms from the soil to the tips of the dark stems. Even when the flowers are past peak, the rosy purple calyxes add interest to the garden. The habit is compact and dense, making Nepeta x ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ a good “easy care” filler for sunny perennial borders and rock gardens. Nepetas are excellent pollinator attractants and are impervious to deer. From Walters Gardens’ breeding program.
PRN Preferred: Compact habit plus very showy large blue flower spikes for an extended display.
Junior Walker™ Catmint ('Novanepjun') is a seedling of Nepeta 'Walker's Low' that was chosen because it has a neat compact habit and does not seed itself around the garden. The violet-blue flowers start in early June, and continue all summer if deadheaded occasionally. The compact habit of Junior Walker™ makes it an excellent candidate for containers and borders. An introduction by Star Roses.
‘Purple Haze’ Catmint produces a multitude of lavender blue flower spikes, displayed on a mat of aromatic grayish green foliage. The bloom period of Nepeta x ‘Purple Haze’ is very long, especially if cut back after the first heavy flowering. This member of the Mint family is attractive to a variety of pollinators and unattractive to deer and rabbits. An introduction from Terra Nova® Nurseries. ‘Purple Haze’ would make a beautiful hanging basket plant because of its prostrate habit.
‘Siskiyou’ Evening Primrose has excellent tolerance of dry gravelly sites, and its vigorous spreading habit makes it a good groundcover for tough sunny sites. The finely dissected green foliage is crowned in summer by soft pink saucer shaped flowers which open in the evening. Since Oenothera berlanderi ‘Siskiyou’ blooms during the night, it is attractive to moths as well as butterflies. A good choice for green roofs, rock gardens and road sides, but it can be an aggressive groundcover.
The bronzy leaves of Oenothera fruticosa 'Fireworks' ('Fyrverkeri') are topped by bright yellow flowers in June and July. This Evening Primrose forms a burgundy rosette in winter.
Black Mondo Grass or Lily Turf is a slow growing groundcover with interesting blackish purple strap-like leaves. The habit is clumping but slowly spreading. The short flower spikes have subtle lavender bell-shaped flowers which are followed by small shiny purple berries. The blooms appear in July and August, emerging from the foliage clumps. Leaf color is darkest in full sun, although O. 'Nigrescens' tolerates shade well. This is the same plant as O. 'Nigra'.
‘Drops of Jupiter’ has a combination of beautiful flowers over colorful foliage. The late summer flower clumps are mauve pink with purple calyxes, and are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. The mat of foliage is chartreuse yellow, providing a nice contrast. Origanum x ‘Drops of Jupiter’ loves full sun and well-drained soils, so it can help with erosion issues as it expands. An introduction by Walters Gardens, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ is edible but not as flavorful as the regular herb Oregano.
‘Kent Beauty’ Ornamental Oregano starts blooming in early summer and continues to flower until early fall if deadheaded. The pendulous bracts are a rosy pink, displayed over silvery green neat foliage. Origanum x ‘Kent Beauty’ needs good drainage so it is a good choice for rock gardens and green roofs. Although ‘Kent Beauty’ is not a culinary herb, its attractive flowers dry well.