Birds & Blooms - - Yard Smarts -

Monarda spp., This un­usual beauty grows up to 4 feet tall and starts flow­er­ing in mid­sum­mer, invit­ing hum­ming­birds, but­ter­flies and bees to your flower bed. Plants come in hues of pink, red, white and pur­ple; choose mildew re­sis­tant va­ri­eties for best re­sults. Fre­quent

Li­a­tris spp.,

The nec­tar of this spiky plant is a but­ter­fly fa­vorite, es­pe­cially when it comes to the sil­ver-spot­ted skip­per. Af­ter the flow­ers fade, birds fa­vor the seeds, which are easy to pick out in the gar­den. Blaz­ing star reaches up to 6 feet tall, but some types, like Kobold, are much shorter, mea­sur­ing roughly 18 inches.

Zin­nia spp., Zin­nia is a but­ter­fly and hum­ming­bird gar­den go-to, but sev­eral va­ri­eties of spar­rows, finches and jun­cos eat the seeds later in the year. This an­nual is bee-friendly, too, at­tract­ing hon­ey­bees, bum­ble­bees and some soli­tary bees. It reaches up to 3 feet and blooms un­til the first frost.•

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