Garden insectaries lure more than beneficial insects, they lure photographers. It is a literal smorgasbord for the senses. I couldn’t help but stop by this informal insectary in my neighborhood. While I may be an Aggie, I love orange. I really do. A spray of gorgeous orange flowers caught my eye last week as I passed a nearby corner. I admit, that I could not remember ever seeing this flower. If I had seen it in the past, I certainly would already have it in my garden.
With a blue and white fire hydrant (unintentional but very effective) as a focal point, this little garden contains Crocosmia X crocosmiiflora (Montbretia), Wedelia trilobata (Creeping daisy), Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’ (Katie Ruellia or Mexican Petunia) and a few other blue flowers that I have not identified yet.
Well, the honey bees certainly were enjoying the Wedelia (Creeping Daisy). This plant makes an excellent ground cover and is also suitable for hanging baskets. Nice foliage and cheerful yellow flowers that thrive in the hot Texas sun.
The bumble bees preferred the Montbretia. Perhaps the stalk and the shape of the flowers are better suited for their larger bodies.
Montbretia is very pretty from a distance. There are lots of cultivars available. These are from the iris family and are native to South Africa. They grow from corms, which are similar to tubers and bulbs. The corms can be ordered from catalogs or you can buy the plants in containers. I asked this homeowner where she got the plant and she said at Home Depot, several years ago. According to some websites I’ve seen it can be invasive, but it seems to have a lot of fans on Dave’s Garden.
Want to create a garden insectary of your own? Read more about it in this Permaculture post, Diana Liga Garden Tour.