July 31, 2014
Massive plants, exuberant flowers, ecstatic pollinators!
Midsummer in Maine and the delicate white blooms of Gillenia and Anenome give way to giant pink Filipendula plumes, white Cimicifuga bottlebrushes and purple Veronicastrum spikes. The kitchen path is framed by flowers held at head height on sturdy stems (no staking!) and, on the shady north side of the house, the purple sprays of Thalictrum rochebrunianum top 8 feet! These large-scale perennials have been growing for three years and are finally reaching their space-making, space-shaping size.
The natives – Filipendula, Cimicifuga and Veronicastrum, along with Echinacea, Helenium and their ornamental cousins – provide food for local pollinators while the broad leafed flowering plants in the surrounding hayfield re-grow after a late June mowing. The flowers are covered (literally) with pollinators from solitary bees and wasps to butterflies and moths, the low buzz of their wings audible on the breeze.