As I mentioned before, I've considered myself primarily a flower gardener in the past, with an emphasis on native or drought-tolerant plants. So I've planted a lot of salvia, sage, ceonothus, mallow, manzanita, toyon, ribes, heuchera, penstamon, monkey flower, poppies, figwort, etc. A great place to find ideas for these sorts of plants is the Bringing Back the Natives garden tour. I went six years in a row, and the gardens are all drool-worthy.

I also have a lot of flowers that are non-native, and not exactly drought-tolerant; I just like them.

I think that I've always felt as though I wanted the weird plants, the ones that were more unusual, not what everyone else had in their yard, and not what you could find in any parking strip. No oleander, no petunias or begonias, no azaleas or camillas, not that there is anything wrong with any of those things. It's just that I wanted different things. The closest I have come to being 'mainstream' with my flowers is my spring bulbs, and I have all the usual suspects. The roses in my garden were here when we moved in. They bloom reliably despite my diffidence, and they provide the deer with food, which keeps them away from the stuff I really care about. I do have to admit, though, that roses can be quite marvelous.

This year, I kept reading what bees and other pollinators like. It sounds like they often go for plants with tiny flowers, like dill, alyssum, fennel, or yarrow, the latter which I grow. But they also like wide blooms like cosmos, calendula, marigolds, and sunflowers.

So I bought a host of those sorts of things, in seed form, this year. I've planted them all over my garden. I have to admit it was freeing to buy things I've always admired (chocolate cosmos, anyone?) but felt were too 'mainstreamed' for me. Why did I put that restriction on myself all these years? I have no idea.

The way I plant my annual native wildflower seeds, and the way I planted all these other seeds, is that I fill a bucket with good compost and mix the seeds in. Then I broadcast them around the area in my garden where I want them to grow. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they come up three years hence. But I can usually rely on a good show. In a couple of weeks, I expect an explosion of baby blue eyes, and I'll be sure to share that with you.

It's still early in the flower garden here. By the end of the month, my flower beds will be full of blooms; at least I have a few for the new bee colony, which arrives tomorrow.