Bee Balm from Mom

Saturday, May 12, 2007

For the past two years or so, I've been wanting to add a few bee balm plants to my garden. I like their spiky, wild-looking blooms, and they're a favorite treat for hummingbirds and bees. It's been one of my goals to add more pollinator-attracting flowers to the garden, and bee balm is an ideal choice.

But I didn't want just any bee balm for my garden; I wanted a few clippings of my mom's bee balm. She has grown it in her garden for years, and that was where I discovered this plant for the first time.

My mom lives about five hours away by car and it's been a few years now since I've seen her summer garden in full bloom. (It seems we most often make the trip up north during the colder months, e.g, for holidays and birthdays.) In early April, though, I had the chance to visit her. One afternoon I was standing at the window that looks upon her backyard garden, which was still brown and barren from its winter rest.

I said to her, "Mom, I'd really like to have a few of your extra bee balm plants some day. I guess they haven't come up yet, though, huh."

"Oh, they've probably starting coming up by now. Why don't we go out and see?"

So with shovel in one hand and an old pot in the other, she slipped on her shoes and coat and led the way out back. She went right to a familiar place in her garden and started tapping at the still-cold ground with her shovel.

"You see? That's bee balm," she said, pointing to a few small tufts of green that were unrecognizable to me. She then began scooping several pieces into the pot that would sit by my side during that five-hour ride back to Washington.

And so there is my bee balm -- my mom's bee balm. It's in my garden plot and ready to grow into a colorful beacon for pollinators. It'll be a favorite flower for them, for sure, but perhaps even more cherished by me.

10 Comments:

Blogger Kalyn said...

I love bee balm! I have some in both my front flower beds. It might even be my very favorite flower.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I understand what you mean about wanting to have your mom's bee balm and not just any ol' bee balm. That makes it much more special!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

How special that you were able to get some of your mom's bee balm. There's nothing like having something personal in your garden.

3:37 PM  
Blogger exile61 said...

Hello, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Since I am a curious person I had to look in on your blog as well. Really interesting to read and I am glad you have gotten your bee balm. I like your "attitude" towards nature and environment. I am sure I will keep coming back. Have a nice Mother's Day. Greetings from Germany, Andrea

4:29 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

There's something wonderful about growing your mom's bee balm, Christa, but it's even more wonderful that she was there to go out in her garden and dig it for you. What a lovely Passalong!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

7:13 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

I love bee balm. The smell is wonderful and you only have to brush it to get a whiff. My humming birds do love it too. How great to get it from your Mom's garden!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Crafty Gardener said...

I love bee balm and it's scent is wonderful. No wonder the hummers and bees love it. I have lots in my garden and have shared my clump with my daughter also.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous chigiy said...

I like bee balm a lot, however, something ate it last year so I have to plant more.

It's nice that your bee balm is from your mom. It makes it that much more special.

I love to look at my garden and think "that plant came from my mom, that plant came from my friend, that plant came from my kids," It adds a whole new special demension to the gardens that we already love so much.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Ottawa Gardener said...

It's great to get gifted plants, especially from those close to us. Great mother's day post.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Yeah! I love bee balm, too. It will spread, but it's easy to remove the excess and then share with someone else!

3:49 PM  

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