If you pay attention, you will find how nature decides from year to year what is going to be the “stars” for the year, and what will be out. This year , at least in my yard and gardens, it is the flower.
This very much pleases me seeing as how I am a huge fan of flowers. They lift my spirits and give the beneficial insects their nectar and pollen. The abundant flowers this year do not require my attention. This is very key to me now that the chickens in my life have been consuming too much of my attention. (Side note: the baby chick that was taken in by the surrogate hen showed up dead with no apparent injuries 3 days ago. Very sad.)
It was told to me by a new friend that is a herbalist, that Queen Ann’s Lace can be used as birth control. Haven’t looked into this yet. I do believe she said in tincture form. I do wonder why Mother Nature has blessed my gardens with so much of it this year. Hummmm, to be pondered.
The bee balm I have in my gardens I was given about 10 years ago. This lovely herb loves to move around the garden. So it must be watched so it will not upset you with its playful behavior wanting to visit everywhere, invited or not. It is easy to manage though, having shallow rhizomes.
Bee balm is an antiseptic for wounds and acne. And, makes a nice added bit of sweetness to a herbal tea as well. Nothing like making your guests inquire why you have flowers floating in their drink. Just for fun you know.
I find it difficult to cut for my own uses when I see how much the bumble bee’s love the flower. It has a fairly short blooming period. The leafy parts stay intact for some time. I would suggest placing this herb in the back of a garden as a tall green back drop.
I have to say, of the volunteer flowers this year, I think the purple cone flower, also known in the herbal world as Echinacea, is my favorite. Talk about an easy flower. Bumble bees go mad for this flower. And I tell you the cone on it truly smells like honey. I should know since I have two honey bee coloniels.
In the past 3 years I have had a wonderful come back from my Echinacea. I thought I almost lost it about 6 years ago. It is not like the bee balm or Queen Ann’s Lace for showing up uninvited, but it will move around the gardens.
The root part of the plant is used in medicines for immune boosters. I have to say, I just can’t bring myself to dig up the plant and harvesting its roots. As I think we all know, harvesting the roots of the plant, unless you are very careful, will kill it. I just love the flower too much to harvest the whole plant. But maybe, just maybe, if it starts the garden party like the other two, I will bring myself to harvesting its lovely helpful roots.