[gardening] Things for the pollinators

I added a Black Knight butterfly bush to the back yard this spring. Only a couple stalks but they are tall and healthy and blooming:

Black Knight butterfly bush in the back yard.

So far I've seen no bees, butterflies or hummingbirds interested. Boo.

In the front yard, my butterfly bush (started from seed two years ago when I winter-sowed all the things) is finally blooming:

What the shit is this. I thought this butterfly weed was supposed to be orange. Garden is ruined now. RUINED!!!

Uhhhh... That doesn't look orange. Sigh, this is the seed packet that I used. What I have looks like straight-up swamp milkweed. Whatever. The butterflies will still love it but I was hoping for a nice orange color.

Down in a new bed this year, bee balm that I got from a coworker has started to sprout it's red dreadlocks:

Bee balm starting to bloom. This thing looks crazy. I ❤️ it.

This thing looks so crazy. I love it. I decided I'm only going to add the weirdest looking flowers from now on. Once this stuff spreads and needs to be divided, I think I'll start adding it around the vegetable garden. It seems to be deer and woodchuck resistant so far.

Speaking of the vegetable garden, the tomato plants are doing well:

Tomatoes are growing well. Peppers are meh. Cucumbers have succumbed to some critter.

I have a couple green zebra tomatoes that I can't wait for. I received one large red tomato in my CSA this week and made the best BLTs for dinner that night. It was so good. All I want to eat this summer is BLTs. 

I've have some pepper plants (bell, jalapeƱo, banana) that aren't very robust. Cucumbers are my favorite but I have no luck with them last year and this year isn't any better. Something's eating the young plants down. Ants? Slugs? Birds? I have no idea. I don't think it's the woodchucks (for once). I have some tansy growing and might move it down to the veg garden to grow as a companion plant to the cukes. Maybe it will help.

And these things:

Still have no idea what these are going to be. But I'm going to have a lot of it.

Still no idea what they are. But I'm going to have a lot. All the plants have flowered and I re-fertilized everything. I'm going to be away for a couple weeks and I'm kind of excited to come back and see how big everything will have grown. Maybe I'll be able to identify it all by then.

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