Monday night, after loading the rescue plants into my truck, we drove around the corner to meet a friend of Jan's. Linda is an amazing person who beams with enthusiasm. She had hired a bucket lift and a bee keeper to rescue a swarm of Honeybees. The bees had set up an ill fated nest 70 feet up in a tree next to her driveway. This rescue was an amazing event to witness and I learned a lot about bees. Even this small hive had 10,000 bees in it. But the real treat was to talk with Linda about her yard. She is an avid and outspoken advocate of protecting and restoring natural environments. She has a residential landscape fit for Better Homes and Garden. And it is almost all native. She doesn't know what she's gotten herself into when she told me to visit anytime. I'll certainly take her up on that, reporting back here with pictures.
And as we move into the late stages of summer, I'm finding lots of our native plants starting to show their colors. Black eyed Susans, and Purple Coneflowers planted years ago are in full bloom. Last year's planting of Brown-Eyed Susans are putting on a magnificent display in the "wild area" of the side yard. Monkey flower and Tall Bellflower continue to bloom. The brilliant orange flowers of the Butterfly Weed are certainly eye catching. Sneezeweed is a newly identified species I acquired last year but had forgotten about. Its yellow flowers are a nice companion to the blue Monkey Flower. The Blue Lobelia Jan Hunter planted in the spring has burst into bloom. These flowers brought in a beautiful large butterfly yesterday. I was thrilled to watch it enjoy the nectar for a while before it moved on. It feels good to see all these colors developing. The birds seem more plentiful. The yard seems to be coming alive. This conversion to native plants just might be working.