Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 60

Most years, the bee
balm's peak bloom
perfectly dovetails
with the swallowtail
tsunami; on the
hottest summer days
it throbs to the
fevered beat of
hundreds of
swallowtail wings.
THE WILD REDS

Crimson Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), also
known as Oswego Tea. Flowers grown on
30-60-inch stalks and are scarlet to crimson in
moist mountain woods. After the Boston Tea
Party led to a shortage of imported tea,
monarda leaves were substituted to provide a
tea-like drink. This northeastern species
extends south to Georgia. Has several wildflower relatives, among them Wild Bergamot,
that occur in the Blue Ridge.

Stands of bee balm beckon butterflies and hummingbirds in midsummer.

Bee balm's a summer treat, but I
want a spot (or several) of red in my
yard from early spring to the end
of the growing year. That's easy,
thanks to five stalwarts I wouldn't
be without: flowering quince, a
shrub that blooms in the North
Carolina mountains in March and
April, but whose buds swell pink in
January and February; native coral
honeysuckle, a vine that blooms
from April-May; red daylilies (June);
bee balm (late June-August); and
cardinal flower (August-early
60 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

October). To which I add red-flowering annuals: salvias and zinnias that
bloom profusely until frost.
The reds are attractive not just to
butterflies but to ruby-throated
hummingbirds, whose reappearance
in spring coincides with the blooming of wild columbine (Aquilegia
canadensis) in our woods. The hummingbird is the dainty red-and-yellow wildflower's pollinator. I've
none in my yard at present. Sounds
like something I should add this
year. 

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), also known as Trumpet Honeysuckle
and Woodbine. A woody vine, its clumps of
tubular blooms are a favorite nectar source for
hummingbirds; the bloom (as with wild columbine's) roughly coincides with the hummingbirds' reappearance each spring. Seeds
are good wildlife food, sought by cardinals,
goldfinches, sparrows and purple finches.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) grows
2-4 ft. tall; blooms are the color of a Roman
Catholic Cardinal's robe, hence the common
name. It prefers wet soil and occurs along
stream banks and roadside ditches in southeastern Canada and throughout the eastern
and southwestern U.S. Its family resemblance
to two wildflowers native to our region -
Downy Lobelia and Great Blue Lobelia - is
clear, though its cousins' blooms are blue.


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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Cover
Table of Contents
Letters/Worth a Click
From the Editor
Creature Feature
From the Farm
Great Home Buys
Digital Help Guide
Mountain Report
The Hike
Festivals & Events
Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Letters/Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Great Home Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover4
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