Once the clover is done (usually mid-July here), that's the end of my spring flow. Until the goldenrod and Japanese knotweed begin the fall flow, the bees are on the constant lookout for flowering plants.
My area many flowering plants (and even a few shrubs) in the summer -- echinacea, rudbeckia, hostas, daylilies, yarrow, rose of Sharon to name a few. They really love some of them (like the cone flowers), will visit some of them (hostas), and completely ignore others (yarrow). There are also all the summer blooming fruits/veggies that they adore -- beans, squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers to name a few.
In any case, I'm always looking for new plants that will fill this gap in the nectar flow during the summer. One plant that my bees seem to love this year is ligularia.
Usually the leaves are much nicer, but something has eaten up all my plants this year.
In my opinion, the leaves are the prettiest part of the plant, but ligularia starts to bloom around the middle of July, sending up "rockets" of yellow flowers -- actually, they're composite flowers. You wouldn't think it to look at them, but they're related to sunflowers. Although ligularia is far less showy than its cousin, the bees seem to find their blooms utterly irresistible.
|Honeybee on ligularia|
I really didn't know anything about this plant when I bought it, and by chance, I picked the perfect spot for it. It likes light shade and rich soil that never dries out. It doesn't need wet soil, though, just moist.
I've heard snails and slugs can be a pest, but this year, everything has been eating all of my flowers. Hopefully, this winter will be a little colder than last to kill off pests.