On gar­den­ing: Golden Lace en­tices ben­e­fi­cial suit­ors

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS - BY NOR­MAN WIN­TER

If you are de­vel­op­ing a gar­den for beauty and hop­ing to host pol­li­na­tors like bees and but­ter­flies, then put Golden Lace at the top of your list. This siz­zling summer peren­nial is a se­lec­tion of Pa­trinia scabiosi­fo­lia and na­tive to Korea. Oh, my gosh, this is a plant that ab­so­lutely com­mands at­ten­tion.

Once you start grow­ing this 4- to 5-foot-tall plant loaded with thou­sands of tiny golden yel­low blos­soms, you will want to pull up a chair with a good pair of close-fo­cus­ing binoc­u­lars, your dig­i­tal cam­era and hang out all day. You will also want to bring along an in­sect na­ture guide as you will have more bees and wasps than you ever knew ex­isted.

But don’t worry, but­ter­flies adore the blos­soms, too. We have had Sil­ver Spot­ted Skip­pers, Long-tailed Skip­pers, Gray hairstreaks and Red-banded Hairstreaks. Then to make it more ex­cit­ing the pol­li­na­tor preda­tors also show up. On any given day the Green Anole lizards are there, ly­ing still, wait­ing for the per­fect mo­ment to grab their ver­sion of the Happy Meal.

The Golden Lace is rock­ing at my work­place, the Coastal Ge­or­gia Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Sa­van­nah, and you can count on it to do the same in your gar­den. It is a cold hardy peren­nial in zones 4 to 9. It has been known to re-seed a lit­tle which I would wel­come here but is easy to pull if one comes up where it is not wanted.

Ours is in the cot­tage gar­den grow­ing in close prox­im­ity to Joe Pye weed which is also do­ing its part bring­ing in the big boys of the pol­li­na­tor world like the Eastern Tiger swal­low­tails and the Palamedes swal­low­tails. The rose pink of the Joe Pye is a thrilling com­pan­ion.

Blue For­tune agas­tache or Black Adder agas­tache would make the ul­ti­mate com­pan­ion plant­ing with the blue to vi­o­let shades of spikey bot­tle­brush-like flow­ers. It would also cre­ate what would be a pol­li­na­tor heaven as they too bring in bees, and but­ter­flies in un­count­able num­bers.

Golden Lace will reach a spread of around 3 feet. It thrives in fer­tile well-drained soil and needs plenty of sun to reach its max­i­mum po­ten­tial. It starts bloom­ing in mis­um­mer last­ing for weeks and then con­tin­ues to daz­zle in land­scape as the re­main­ing flo­ral parts re­tain that bright cheer­ful gold-

MCT PHOTO

Golden Lace looks at home in a typ­i­cal gar­den with SunPa­tiens and Mari­posa coleus nearby.

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