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Saturday, July 06, 2013

In Bloom: Monarda didyma 'Purple Rooster'

Oh my god. What an incredible plant.
I purchased this Bee Balm -- monarda didyma 'purple rooster' -- in Spring 2011 through the Arboretum's Plant Sale. I had never grown Bee Balm before, but I knew it attracted butterflies and was successful in my neighbor's yard (maybe too successful - I think she thins it out regularly), so I wanted to give it a try.**

Planted by the sunny vegetable garden, it sits in a bed of ajuga.

In late 2012, I moved it to the sunny vegetable garden area (facing south-west) because it was in the way of the patio and I didn't want it getting trampled on. Well... it loves it's new home. Almost too much because it shot up 42" tall and 2-1/2 ' wide with blooms all over.  

They are a spectacular purple: deep, rich, magenta.  


I think placing this where it's height and color will be appreciated (i.e. with other green plants) is the best option.  It also has a lovely "romantic" cottage garden feel to it, as well.

The flower heads are large too.
**I think this is what separates gardeners from landscapers -- as a true lover of plants, gardeners want to experience growing and tending to plants and study their quirks. We don't want to limit our plants to "3 of those" and "5 of those" just because it looks more pleasing. I love to grow plants, and when I see something I haven't tried I want to experience it and share my knowledge. If for nothing else, I can enjoy their lovely blooms.

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