2017 was a year of progress for the BHaven Flower Gardens.
The Front Island has really come into its own. The center piece is a mimosa tree. We enjoy the silky pink fowers of this Asian native. This tree is surounded by Blue and White Salvia. This perrenial provides nice forage for our honey bees. And finally on the outside of the island we have Thryalias. This drought resistent shrub is covered by yellow flowers. We even threw in a couple of Butterfly Bushes for accent. Butterflies and honey bees love these bushes. So the result is a front island that is full of color and scent. And it is a big maganet for butterflies and honey bees.
We had a couple of other flower beds (South and West side) that were dominated by Eparanza. This vigourous Texas native has brilliant yellow flowers. But the honey bees do not care for it. So we decided to replace it with hybrid roses. We decided to stay away from Knock Out Roses. We alreay have plenty of them and they do not have much of a scent. So we went with Double Delite, Mr. Lincoln, and the like. They will hopefully thrive.
We have a couple of flower gardens on the front of the house that spend a significant amount of time in the shade. So we decided to add Jerusalem Sage and Black and Blue Salvia. These plants seem to be doing well. Hopefully this will continue.
We have always had lots of problems with the Back Island. We have tried Mexican Bird of Paradise and Roses. The Bird of Pardise doesn't come up until June and does not do much. The Roses get munched by deer. So we decided to focus on Rose of Sharon and Mexican Merigold (also called Mexican Tarragon). Both of these plants are deer resistant and vigorous. The seemed to do well. The Mexican Marigold smells a lot like French Tarragon. We also added Thyme along the edge of the island. This is a nice herb for the kitchen.
The Butterfly Garden is continueing to do well. This garden surrounds our chicken run. The chicken run is covered with Passion Vines. The flowers have a great perfume and the butterflies love them. So we get plenty of Monarch Butterflies. We added a couple of Butterfly Bushes since it is a Butterfly Garden. At the base of the chicken run, we use Rosemary, Society Garlic, Thyme, Lemon Grass, Salvia, Bay Tree, and Stevia. The Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay Leaves are great in the kitchen. The Lemon Grass has a great scent. The Stevia has very sweet leaves. They taste a lot like sugar.
We do not need to by fertilizer, compost, or mulch. The chickens and goats take care of that. Fresh goat mulch is great. It is a mixture of shavings and manure. It is not hot but it does the job.
So you can we that we made lots of changes to the Flower Gardens last year. We are striving for lots of color and scent and sustainability. We shall see.