Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beauty and The Bee...st

Having just spent the last few days with my biologist son I feel I must put a mantle of learnedness on my blog! Angiosperms are characterized....I won't bore you today..maybe I'll write a learned post about pollination later on this summer or maybe not!

.....I shot these adorable photos of a fat little bee visiting my favorite Penstemon... Penstemon X. Remember X? He was found growing in a wet and deeply shaded area in the back yard. He is one of the most adaptable and prolific plants growing in my garden....




I love this bee! Is he a carpenter bee? Even if so, I still love him, they are great pollinators!


I love this Penstemon, too. I have transplanted him everywhere. He happily grows in shade, semi-shade and even full-sun. He and his children are in bloom all over the garden....the bees are very happy and so am I.



Move over Phlox pilosa...Penstemon X is moving on up! Don't you think he is practically perfect;-)

Look at his sweet flowers! Besides being cute and having that lovely pale lilac coloring; his perfect corolla is designed so that a fat bee can snuggle right up inside it....picking up pollen as he moves from flower to flower... insuring that seeds will be produced and C&L will have more of these delightful and practically perfect plants to share with others.


Gail

“Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement” Oliver Goldsmith



Neat Information:

A friend has sent me the web address of a new Nashville blogger, Square Foot Gardening In Nashville. DP Nguyen is the author. Welcome DP, it's a great community of garden bloggers here in Tennessee and all over the world!

38 comments:

  1. Welcome back! Now just what are angiosperms classified as???? lol Nice bee pic but if I thought it was a carpenter bee it would have to go. ttyl

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  2. P.S. Glad to hear of another Tennessee blogger. Will check it out.

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  3. A fuzzy little bee to go with your fuzzy little penstemon. I agree, that's a great penstemon---love the color. They are such beautiful plants.

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  4. Hi Gail, welcome home. Your sweet little bee is a cutie. I have a penstemon called 'Rondo' that has the white and lavender flower like that. But all the penstemons look so much alike, could he be an offspring of husker red? All penstemons are on the list to add here, they are such good performers. Thanks for the info about the new blogger, will check him out as well.
    Frances

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  5. Tina,

    Angiosperms are flowering plants!

    Glad to be back, I missed the garden, blogging and my good friends on the blogosphere. The garden is over run with weeds....one weekend didn't do that but 7 weekends since March we have been gone or had company!

    No, I can't do in even the carpenter bees.


    Gail

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  6. Pam,

    I love Penstemons and am going to try some other varieties. Do you have any recommendations?

    Gail

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  7. Frances,

    I will check Rondo out since I want more of the Penstemon. Do you think some of the western varieties woould have a chance here?

    By the way my son says you do this Penstemon spp when you don't know the official name! Ha! It's P.X to me!

    Gail

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  8. Any plant that is so pretty and willing to bloom where it is planted (or plants itself) is one I like to have. I think this penstemon goes great with your phlox. And I bet the hummingbirds like it as well!

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  9. Rose,

    You are so right...they play well together and as phlox begins to decline (she is still blooming) the
    penstemon comes on strong. I haven't caught the hummers with my camera yet!

    Gail

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  10. Ha! Good luck catching those hummers on camera, they are here and gone before I ever have the time to even think about getting it out.

    What a lovely flower! I am going to move a bunch of my plants from various locations in the yard to our new memorial garden we have been working on this weekend. I don't need to know their names to enjoy them!

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  11. Great photos of the bees! Thanks for the link to the new TN garden blogger.

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  12. I really like that Penstemon - what a great color. Aren't volunteer plants the best?

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  13. cinj,

    No you really don't need to know their names...I love visiting gardens and just looking...we went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis and I didn't know many of the plants...beautiful none the less.

    Gail

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  14. Dave,

    Thanks Dave...I am glad we are getting more bloggers, maybe we will be able to some day host the Fling.....way in the future.


    gail

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  15. mmd,

    Free is so good....and the Penstemom was completely free.

    Gail

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  16. Yep, that's a carpenter bee. I know because mine are drilling holes in my deck. I'm a little crabby with them. Why can't they be better house guests?

    Robin at Bumblebee

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  17. Robin,

    I think they are pests and they love my stained wood...but it is hard for me to kill them! I am a softie. It's probably a good thing I don't grow vegies the only happy campers would be the bunnies!


    gail

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  18. Hi Gail!

    Thank you so much for posting my link on your blog!

    I wish you could have come to the writer's night last week. Mary Helen mentioned your blog during your discussion last week. :-)

    PS I love those pictures of the bees. It makes them look so friendly... and not dangerous little critters that can sting you!

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  19. Gail, that's a very pretty penstemon. I love the bloom color. Blooms in shade??? What's not to love!

    I have Huskers Red - I only wish that leaf color would stay all season instead of turning green. Yours has a prettier flower than Huskers Red.

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  20. DP,

    Glad you stopped by...

    I hope to make it to the group soon! Maybe even the next meeting....MH says that it will be a good group for a blooming writer like me.

    The bees don't scare me but the destructiveness of the Carpenter bee is pretty bad....and most people don't tolerate them...they seem to have found a new spot, in a bench and I say "have at it", if they leave the house be.

    Gail

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  21. gardengirl,

    Husker is P digitalis and their flowers are almost white...I will try to save seeds... if I am able to get to them before they fall to the ground...I will be glad to share them!


    gail

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  22. Hmm, Penstemon X. Didn't he speak about growing penstemons by any means necessary? :)
    ~ Monica

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  23. Garden Faerie,

    That was during his younger years....

    Gail

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  24. What a lovely little penstemon. I don't have any yet, so I guess I am just going to have to keep my eyes open for them the next time I hit the nursery.

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  25. I really like your penstemon. Is it a "sturdy" plant? Your photos are great!

    I'm a fan of my husker red - I like the foliage. It's very hardy... takes a move well! ;-)

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  26. Great penstemon! Did that bee have to be surgically extracted from that flower? It looked like a very tight fit! Great pics.

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  27. I love penstemons and bees, they go so well together, don't you think? ;-) Just bought a new penstemon last Saturday with gorgeous purple foliage and white flowers. Hope the bees will love it too.

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  28. Hi again Gail, I have a western penst. called Red Rocks that was purchased while we still lived in Houston, and it has done well here. Not a vigorous as husker, but I am sure those two have interbred for pinky purple flowered huskers. I just ordered a new one from High Country Gardens, P. pseudospectabilis, along with some other things, inspired by your post. You are causing me to have impulse purchases! ;->
    Frances

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  29. Lisa,

    There are a few plants that I have fallen for and Penstemon is one of them...the other is Salvia....both are great in gardens and I imagine would love yours.

    Gail

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  30. Shady,

    I haven't any Husker Red...he didn't like my garden and moved out one winter! I was totally surprised thinking I was a good landlord! I have another one named Smallii...really lovely purple.

    Gail

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  31. Layanee,

    Thanks I feel like I am occasionally getting some decent shots. He did look like it was a tight fit didn't he!

    Gail

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  32. Yolanda Elizabet,

    Your bees are Blissful and with a penstemon or two they will be even happier...if that is possible. I can't wait to see where you plant them!

    Gail

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  33. Frances,

    It's obvious that we have had a Freaky Friday experience (Jamie Leigh Curtis version) ...I just bought seeds of the Western Penstemon and you impulse shopped and ordered plants! We must find that woman in the Chinese Restaurant to switch us back; unless you like this impulsive behavior?

    I love that nursery and shall head over there to see what I can thoughtfully order since I am channeling you!

    Gail

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  34. I grow only two penstemons, Gail, but I'd recommend them both: Gulf penstemon, which takes some shade and seasonal poor drainage (unusual for a penstemon) and rock penstemon, which wants full sun and excellent drainage.

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  35. Pam,

    Thank you..I will check them both out at High Country Gardens

    That is the thing about PenstemonX...he is growing in deep shade on top of the mossy seep! Plants want to live!

    Gail

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  36. Penstemon X and bee - they look very happy together :)

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  37. Ewa,

    A sense of humor is necessary when one gardens, don't you think?!

    Gail

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  38. I have a garden in Green Hills and it is doing wonderfully, but I must say I am concerned because I have almost no bees at all on my flowers. I have never experienced this lack of insect hum in the backdrop of my gardening...! What has happened to the bees?

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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