Today’s photos are from Joel, who gardens in the Pacific Northwest.
This brilliant red-and-yellow bloom comes from a red western columbine (Aquilegia formosa, Zones 4–8). While different species of columbines are native to much of the Northern Hemisphere, these strong red colors are a specialty of the species that’s native to North America, an adaptation that makes them attractive to our native hummingbirds. Gardeners in eastern North America may recognize the look from another native red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis (Zones 3–8), which looks quite similar but is a different species that has adapted the same look to lure hummingbirds.
A little colony of hens-and-chicks (Sempervivium hybrid, Zones 3–8), easy-to-grow hardy succulents
Though the succulent foliage is why most people choose to grow hens-and-chicks, the flowers can be pretty as well. Each individual rosette that blooms will then die, but the plant makes so many offsets that the colony will carry on.
Lewisia cotyldeon (Zones 5–8) is native to western North America, where Native Americans harvested the thick, fleshy roots as a food source. English-speaking visitors weren’t so fond of the flavor, and they gave it the common name of “bitterroot.” These days, it is grown for the beautiful blooms.
Lewisia flowers come in a wide range of colors. These beautiful plants are easy to grow in their native climate, but they can be a struggle in the wetter conditions of the eastern half of North America.
A late-summer cloud of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) fills the garden with color.
If you want to see more from Joel, check out his instagram: @frondophile
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