Habitat Gardens Hum and Buzz With Life

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marin county habitat garden designer
Agastache 'Black Adder' provides nectar for a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Everyone loves Agastache!

This Anise Hyssop (Agastache 'Black Adder') is a short-lived perennial that is popular with seemingly everyone who visits the garden - humans included. Butterflies, honey bees, and native solitary bees all visit it for nectar. Later in the summer, finches dine on its seeds.

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Marin county garden design
The spent flower stalks of Agastache foeniculum are filled with delicious seeds for this charm of American Finches.

In a habitat garden, tidier is not necessarily better.

Sometimes, it's desirable to deadhead or cut back spent flowers for repeat blooms, but I left the flowers on this Agastache foeniculum so they could form seed. The drying flower stalks are attractive in their own right, and the seeds are a valuable food source for the finches shown in this photo. If I'm lucky, I may find a "volunteer" seedling or two in the garden once the rains begin.

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Marin county wildlife garden design
Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) blooms in early summer and provides nectar for a variety of pollinators.

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Later in the summer, Pine Siskins eat the seeds of the same plant.

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This garden spider has spun its web on a California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum).

A Spider's Cafeteria

This California buckwheat teems with bees and wasps attracted to its nectar, so this spider will not go hungry.

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Marin county wildlife garden design
Cuckoo Bee on a buckwheat flower

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habitat gardener marin county
This Painted Lady is one of the many butterfly species that uses Giant Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) as a source of nectar. This verbena is a valuable habitat plant that blooms from late spring and into the fall with occasional irrigation.

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Marin county garden design
Bewicks Wren photo © Jonathan Katz