We’re back for another day in Lila Johnson’s garden north of Seattle.
I’ve been a gardener for 52 years, but I just plant, prune, deadhead flowers, fertilize and water, and accept whatever happens, learning a bit as I go.
I grew up loving flowers, mostly annuals, alongside my mom: sweet peas, geraniums, tuberous begonias, fuchsias, petunias, impatiens, and a wonderful Jasmine officinale that wasn’t supposed to grow here in our climate. My mom was given a hosta from a new neighbor who brought it with her from Minnesota, so I had an early exposure to hostas even though they are not an annual. However, it took me a while to like their spiky flowers. My mom would be amazed at all the hosta varieties available today.
So truthfully I am a lover of flowers, having planted for summer color most of those 52 years. Since joining my local garden club almost 10 years ago, I have learned to embrace perennials—hence the butterfly/bee garden with no use of chemicals.
This is heaven for any butterfly or bee in the neighborhood! Yellow yarrow (Achillea sp., Zones 4–8) is backed by purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) and other favorite perennials for pollinators.
And the butterflies are happy to visit! Here a swallowtail takes a sip from an agastache (probably Agastache foeniculum, Zones 4–11).
Of common jasmine (Jasmine officinale, Zones 7–10), Lila says, “It reminds me of summer evenings, and as a young girl I would tuck a sprig of jasmine in my hair. Now on a warm summer evening in our backyard, the intoxicating fragrance of our jasmine is quite delightful.”
Close-up of the jasmine flowers. You can almost smell them through the screen.
Speaking of fragrance—Oriental lilies (Lilium ‘Stargazer’, Zones 3–8)!
And one last view of this beautiful garden. Thanks for letting us visit, Lila!
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