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Garden Insectary Lures More Than Beneficial Insects

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.

A blue fire hydrant.
A blue fire hydrant in a field of flowers.
An orange flower is growing in a grassy area.
An orange flower with yellow flowers in the background.

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.

A bee is on a yellow flower with green leaves.
A bee is sitting on a yellow flower.
A bee is sitting on a yellow flower.

The bumble bees preferred the Montbretia. Perhaps the stalk and the shape of the flowers are better suited for their larger bodies.

A black and orange butterfly sitting on a flower.
A bee sits on top of a plant with orange flowers.
A group of orange flowers in a garden.
An orange flower with a blurred background.

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.

A flower bed in front of a house.

Want to create a garden insectary of your own? Read more about it in this Permaculture post, Diana Liga Garden Tour.

4 thoughts on “Garden Insectary Lures More Than Beneficial Insects”

  1. Corner Garden Sue

    Hi Jackie,
    I am reading down my blogroll this evening. I’m glad I made it to this post. I love each photo, and enjoyed seeing some healthy crocosmia. I am zone 5, and it has lived a few years for me at a time, then died over the winter. This makes me want to try the zone 6 plant in another spot.

    I’ll have to check out that site about the insectary. I have lots of insects around here.

    1. Jacqueline D'Elia

      Thanks for visiting and commenting on this post. Yes the Crocosmia seems to thrive in Houston weather. We had a very cold winter with a lot of freeze damage, but these plants came back strong.

  2. How cool is it that someone did that with the sidewalk strip? Thanks for sharing this, Jackie. It’s inspiring to see someone working with the fire hydrant and narrow dimensions rather than bemoaning this immovable feature and challenging bit of landscape. 🙂

  3. We have tried Crocosmia for the first time this year (having planted them as bulbs). And while they have grown they have yet to flower. We look forward to seeing them bloom as they have for a nearby house in the Heights.

    On a bit of a side note we planted Caladiums from bulbs and they have absolutely exploded in their fullness; I am thinking that plants that emerge in a soil can be more acclimated than any transplant.

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