Saturday, December 18, 2010

Remembering Mrs. Monarda

Saturday, December 18, 2010

15.6° and rising. Windless for a change. The birds are awake and feeding on Saturday's breakfast buffet and traffic is building as people leave the pond and head to town for recycling and shopping. The weather will be good this weekend and retailers should be smiling by close of business tomorrow evening.

Karl the Wonder Dog was not interested in much of a walk this morning when the temperature bounced from 12° to 10° to 15°. We made it to the granite Peacham Pond marker and then he bee lined for the back door, right past the tin of butter cookies on the counter. He was in bed again in seconds and I had avoided another potential scolding for feeding him bite sized tastes of non traditional dog food which is not healthy for him. He and I love butter cookies and speaking only for myself, I enjoy too many.

As we passed the mailbox this morning, I noticed the bee balm heads had caught piles of snowflakes as the last storm went through around 6 this morning. Some folks clean up spent flowers in the fall but there are certain flowers we leave to admire. Monarda is an example. Seeing them gives quick recall of how beautiful they are during the summer, decked with butterfly jewelry and dancing hummingbirds.

Monarda is a member of the mint family and some don't care for its wandering habit. The picture just below shows how a planting at the house overtook daylilies, actaea, astilbes, and martagon and Oriental lilies over the past couple years as our energies turned to the new nursery.Just the same, a mass of red and purple, the hummingbird magnet that it is, serves us well as we enjoy Vermont summers.

Red is one of the colors of the current holiday season but for us, it is also a reminder of a season to look forward to. Consider monarda in future plantings at your home and you'll be reminded how important they are to insects and animals. Try some!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the white of the woods beckons to me for another walk. Give me a call if you want to walk too.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Using social networking as a vehicle to share good gardening ideas with others. On Facebook as George Africa or as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

PS Running late on shopping time? Call Gail and order a gift certificate. 1-802-426-3505 or

1 comment:

Rebecca Sweet said...

Such a beautiful photo of the snow piled high on Mrs. Monarda's head (like a winter hat!). Bee Balm is one of my favorite plants, though it's short lived in my area (California). But still, it's SO worth it - seeing a large drift of it growing, with butterflies flitting all around is a sight to behold....